Coach, Urban Movement
A.D.A.P.T. (Parkour) Level 1, MovNat Level 2
Q: How long have you been practicing Parkour / Art du Deplacement?
A: I have been training for about 3 years now.
Q: How did you get started?
A: I stumbled upon parkour on a CrossFit website. From there I found out that Houston had a parkour community, got in contact and got my first lesson.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: Everyone influences me! But more specifically those I train with on a regular basis, and the founders (Yamakasi) of course.
Q: How often do you train?
A: Lately, I have the luxury of training a lot more, so around 5-6 days out the week, usually 2-3 hours a day. I'm always working on some technique. Even during my rest period I usually walk a few miles.
Q: How do you deal with the fear experienced while training?
A: If I am terrified of a jump, I try to put my mind in a scenario where I wouldn’t have time to think about it, like if lions or zombies were chasing me. If this doesn’t work (it usually doesn’t) then I will deconstruct the jump as much as possible, gradually eliminating the fear. Simply seeing some else do it also helps. Overcoming many of my fears was hard for me. I have to thank to Laurent Piemontesi; he was really the first person to show me how to do this.
Q: What do you do when you're not out training (or thinking about) parkour?
A: That just depends on how I feel and the time of year. I’m always into something. If I am not in college or working, I love doing social work with youth, I love training martial arts; I love reading non-fiction, and studying anthropology and linguistics. I also love playing video games and making things.
Q: What foods can you not live without?
A: This may have something to do with my childhood obsession with Ninja Turtles, but what’s life without a good veggie pizza!
Q: What kind of shoes do you train in?
A: I’ve trained in quite a few shoes. None are prefect. Lately I have been training barefoot and I find that to be my preference mainly because you have to be more attentive of how you, run, jump, land, etc.
Q: How do you explain parkour to people who don't know much about it?
A: I always have a hard time with this. The explanation usually ends with me saying, “You have to see it”.
Q: Parting words for the new practitioner?
A: Parkour isn’t a fancy YouTube video; it’s a way of life, to master parkour is to master oneself, and that takes a lifetime.
Click here to read Ra's bio on the team page.