The organization I volunteer with, Parkour Visions, is running a Movement for All campaign, and it inspired me to share how my relationship with movement has changed over time.

I am 17 years old, and my lungs are on fire. The footsteps on the trail behind me grow louder. I fight to stay ahead. Halfway through the race, I desperately want to stop or slow down, but I can’t. Only one more mile to go.

Ahead I see a log across the path. Perhaps I can trip over it and feign injury so my suffering will be over.

I push hard to pass three people in the final stretch. At the finish line I want to flop onto the ground. I want to puke. Instead I grasp my sides and gulp air like I’ve been drowning.

14 minutes, my fastest two-mile time ever. Still not fast enough for varsity. Read More »

Last month, my friend Bryan sent me this message: “Do you know Messy? Check out her story.”

I went to Messy’s Instagram and saw this:

“Do not host this guy if he asked,” reads the original message, along with some Chinese at the bottom. “Parkour people plz beware of him. He stole expensive camera, and use other guys [credit card] and so on,” writes Messy in her repost.

I felt my adrenaline spike. I didn’t know the whole story–I don’t read Chinese and didn’t know any parkour people from Taiwan at the time. But I knew this guy. Read More »

“Everyone do two cartwheels. Try to stay on the line in the turf,” said the coach in my freerunning class. Freerunning involves a lot of going upside down while your feet leave the ground. We practice on soft surfaces in the gym before trying flips outdoors on the concrete.

Third in the queue, I did my two cartwheels, one on my right side and one on my left.

“You’re tilted off center for some reason.”

“Hm?” I glanced at the man who had spoken. He had finished his cartwheels just before me. I didn’t recognize him.

“Oh, I just noticed you were tilted off center for some reason,” he repeated with a kind of half-chuckle, as though it was a funny thing, or he was embarrassed to tell me.

Blank look. “Yeah, I’m not surprised. The second one was my off side.”

It took me a moment to figure out what he was trying to do because I’d literally never seen this man before. He was giving me feedback.

Read More »