I got to the train station in Georgia at 7:30pm, Tuesday the 5th. I arrived in Burlington, North Carolina at 10:00am, Wednesday the 6th. It was a looong train ride. I saw TK17/Duncan waiting for me as the train pulled up, I recognized him from his Pilgrimage video. We all got introduced, and then headed to IHOP for breakfast (my first meal in almost 15 hours). Most of Wednesday was spent resting, and I led a small training session at UNC – Chapel Hill that evening showcasing some of the different training methods I'd learned on my trip. The real adventure of North Carolina happened Thursday, though.
We left around 9am from Duncan's house in three cars. The plan was to rendezvous with two other people, and then go hiking all day at Table Rock, a huge series of mountains and rocks, with a valley containing the “North Carolina Wall.” The trip started off well enough, and then we hit a bump.
Two of the cars were already full, the third car had enough room for the two extra passengers we were picking up. The third car also happened to develop a transmission problem that prevented it from shifting out of second gear. This pretty much makes it an adventure to get out of your neighborhood. We parked it at a Dairy Cream off of the highway, and reconsolidated passengers, then headed to pick up the two extra people.
They were waiting in a parking lot of a strip mall, and as we pulled up we realized a new problem. Since the car broke down, we now had 9 seats and 11 people. I spent the next 3 hours of our journey to Table Rock in the trunk of a Honda Element.
Interest in Parkour at RIT is exploding.
We are not a school sponsored club, although we are working on it, but through grassroots advertising and word of mouth alone, the size of our regular meetings has doubled since last spring. This explosion in popularity is not just limited to RIT however. I have been in contact with many people from University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, and people from around the city.
In an effort to expand awareness of Parkour even more, I have decided to launch a new website, www.RochesterParkour.com
This website will serve as the central hub for all Parkour activities in the Rochester, New York area. We are not a team or a clan, we are simply a community. This website will function as a way to promote Parkour in Rochester, and to direct people who might be interested, but are unsure of where to start, to willing and able teachers. It will be a single website where they can read articles, look at pictures, and watch videos all relevant to the Rochester area. There will be information about workshops and classes being offered, as well as regular training times and locations.
The site is still new, and things will be constantly added. Soon I will be adding an "Articles" section, as well as "Quotes" and a link to our pictures, hosted on Flickr.
On Sunday, October 5th, I ran a free "Parkour and Obstacle Coursing Workshop" at Zenith Gymnastics in Rochester, New York.
I've been working with Zenith Gymnastics through the RIT Gymnastics club since the end of last summer. I was calling all the local gyms I could find, trying to find somewhere that would give us access to their equipment and facilities and let us train there. After some negotiation, RIT Gymnastics started going there weekly, learning from Sasha and Maria Kourbatova - Russian olympic gold metalists and leaders in their fields. We learned a lot over the year, and we're looking forward to a very successful second year with them!
Amy, the owner of Zenith Gymnastics, has been trying to expand her boys program. My roommate, co-founder of Rochester Parkour, and President of the RIT Gymnastics Club Charles Moreland, offered his help and has begun to teach some of the Boy's Gymnastics classes at Zenith.
Back in August, I called Amy to confirm plans for Gymnastics this year. At the end of this call, I proposed to her the idea of starting a Parkour class. She was interested in the idea, and told me to develop a curriculum and some flyers. I came up with several different ways for the class to work, depending on some of Amy's goals, and we finally settled on a 4 week class aimed towards Zenith's primary demographic, 8-14 year olds.
Yesterday, I ran a free workshop at Zenith to generate some interest. Five kids arrived, and there were between eight and ten more on the list of people interested. Two brothers, around age 9, two fourteen year olds, and a seven year old.
Before I get started on this article, I just want to point people who know what Trigger Points are to The Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, which is hands now the best book about Myofascial Trigger Points that there is. There are two volumes, one for upper body and one for the lower body.
You can lie to yourself, but deep down, you know what it is. Your elbow, knee, or some other part of your body is always hurting. For a while, it was only right after you were physically active.
That's normal, right? It just means a good workout.
Then it started to hurt during a workout.
That's not a big deal. I'll just rest it for a day or two, then I'll be good.
My name is Zachary Cohn, and I have never been hungry.
I don't think I've ever gone more than 18 hours without food. Even during religious holidays when fasting was encouraged, it was only sun-up to sun-down (and I'd sneak food throughout the day anyway). I've wanted to eat before, my stomach has told me it was empty and needed more food to sustain it. Even right now, my stomach is growling a bit, even though I ate less than 2 hours ago.
Food is actually a fairly significant part of my life. I eat healthy and I love to cook. I pride myself on having never drank a soda. My roommates and I regularly cook our own dinners, ranging from calzones (made from scratch!) to oven-baked chicken with a homemade alfredo sauce. We eat healthy, and we eat a LOT.
I live in an upper-middle class household where there have always been cans in the cabinet, apples on the table, and milk in the refrigerator. I've made enough money so if I'm out, I don't have to deliberate and decide if I can afford to eat out somewhere or if I should just hold out and wait until I get home. Food has always been an arm's reach away.
I was at a bookstore looking at this book last week when my stomach growled and I decided I was hungry. This time though, for some reason, I thought about my last thought. "I am hungry." Four hours before, I had eaten a 3 egg omelet with cheese, turkey, and peppers. There was no way I was "hungry" again. This is when I realized that I've never truly been hungry. Starving children in Africa, to use the cliche, have gone days without food. People tortured in POW Camps have been deprived of food for days at a time.
Here are the Twitter updates from the 72 hour period (and a little before). In a few days, I'll post up my reflections on what I learned, and plans for the future.
I'm anxious about fasting for 72 hours. I have 4 hours and 57 more minutes of foodtime left, and then nothing until Saturday. 7:03 PM Oct 28th
Just set up my phone. I will be constantly updating this twitter with how i feel during my 72 hour fast. Visit www.zaccohn.com to find more. 7:17 PM Oct 28th
is hungry and tired already... and he hasn't even begun his fast yet! This is going to suck. 9:30 PM Oct 28th
I'm home for the night. It's timeto pee, then start making the last supper. One hour and five minutes. 10:55 PM Oct 28th
71 hours, 58 minutes into my 72 hour fast: I sat at the dinner table, my plate of food steaming in front of me. I didn't know how my stomach would take food, so I decided to start with small, easy to digest foods: Olives, raisins, grapes, assorted nuts, steamed broccoli and some salsa for dipping. I had some chicken prepared and ready to go on the grill, but I was going to give that another hour or so.
Sitting in my chair, I leaned over and inhaled deeply. When you don't eat for a long period of time, your sense of smell intensifies. I had gone to a grocery store earlier that day, and it was intoxicating. Walking into the store was like walking into a brick wall. I was inundated with smell, I just stopped and stood in the entrance, eyes closed, taking it all in. Charlie did the shopping, and I just ran from display to display, leaning over and inhaling deep.
I had two minutes left in my fast, and I spent it with my eyes closed, lost in smell. My phone hit midnight, and I began to eat. I was unsure how my stomach would accept food, so I wanted to take it slow. I ate my dinner nut by nut, raisin by raisin, olive by olive. It took me about an hour to finish my plate, but I enjoyed every bite of food to its fullest. I'd let the grapes sit in my mouth for up to a full minute, absorbing the taste, before biting just enough to let the juice leak out into my mouth. I'd finish cleaving the grape in half, and let the two halves wander around my mouth, saturating my taste buds with flavor. The broccoli dissolved in my mouth, and when ever something was dipped in the salsa my tongue was overwhelmed by the sensation. As I neared the end of my dinner, I grilled a chicken breast. I cleaned my plate of the first course just as the chicken finished, and I probably spent thirty minutes on the single filleted breast of chicken.
I learned a lot from my fast, but not all of it I can put into words. A good deal of it was just learning more about my body, becoming closer and more in tune with it.
The first and most obvious thing I learned was that I can go three days with only water without radically modifying my daily schedule. I led and participated in a parkour conditioning session, I juggled, I biked to and from campus several times, and I led a Taekwondo class. I got an average amount of sleep each night and only took one nap.
Rochester Parkour is offering Parkour and Obstacle Coursing Classes on Sundays from 2:30pm to 3:30pm at Zenith Gymnastics. This class is geared to the 8-14 age bracket, but even if you aren't in this age range, please contact Zenith anyway and let them know you are interested. We will take your contact info and alert you when a new class opens up.
Located in Rochester, New York, Contact Zenith at 585-292-5370 and ask about Zac Cohn's Parkour classes now!
Zachary Cohn and Charles Moreland of Rochester Parkour are hosting a Leave No Trace Initiative and Beginner Parkour Workshop on Saturday, December 6th in Manhattan Square Park. The Leave No Trace cleanup will start at 2pm and will last approximately 90 minutes. Afterwards, the more experienced traceurs of Rochester Parkour will assist Zac in teaching the 90 minute beginner workshop to all of the attendees. This will be a great event for new people interested in learning Parkour, for fairly new traceurs who need to review the basics, and for experienced traceurs who need experience teaching.
Who: Rochester ParkourWhat: Leave No Trace Cleanup/Beginner Parkour WorkshopWhere: Manhattan Square Park, Rochester, New YorkWhen: 2pm, Saturday December 6th, 2008Why: To clean up a popular training location and to instruct newcomers on the basics of ParkourCost: Free!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and check out http://www.rochesterparkour.com for more information.
On Saturday, December 6th, Rochester Parkour held a “Leave No Trace Initiative/Beginner Parkour Workshop.” Thirty five people put on layer upon layer and headed out into 25 degree weather to Manhattan Square Park in downtown Rochester, New York.
We arrived at 2:00pm with three brooms, three dustpans, two (very) small rakes, six pairs of rubber work gloves, and about four thousand gallons of elbow grease. There were a lot of new faces, people out for the first time, so we all circled up and had a brief introduction to Parkour. Zachary Cohn explained what Parkour is, what it isn't, and what it means to be a traceur. We discussed the different facets of respect – respect for yourself, respect for others, and respect for your environment. Respect for yourself included a discussion on safety and an emphasis on slow progression. Respect for others was about respecting your fellow traceurs, pedestrians, property owners, and law enforcement. Respect for environment was the focus of the discussion however – we talked about how lucky we are to have these amazing locations to train on, and how it is important to give back to the community. We discussed how important it is to pick up trash as you see it; such a small effort can make a huge difference. On Saturday, we decided to clean up Manhattan Square Park.
Manhattan Square Park had several years worth of trash, broken glass, cigarettes, leaves, and other miscellaneous junk scattered around it. For the first 90 minutes of the day, we spread out around the park. We raked, swept, and picked up everything we saw. We ended up removing twenty one bags of trash and leaves from the park. It looked AMAZING afterwards, so much better than it did before. And the best part? I found out from a Fire Marshall that was there preparing for a fireworks show that night that there was a parade that evening, and it ended right smack in the middle of the park! So we ended up doing the whole city a huge favor by cleaning up the area for them. It was a very gratifying experience... even if as a whole the city never finds out who cleaned up, we still know and we still can be proud of that.
At 3:30, we started the Beginner's Workshop. The group was split about 50/50 between traceurs who had been coming fairly regularly and very inexperienced people. This workshop was focused on the very basics of Parkour, so that's where we started. Jeff Whalley lead the first half of the warm up, and Charles Moreland wrapped up with quadrupedal movement variants. Once the warmups were finished, Zachary Cohn taught landings in six separate phases: 1) Just jump. 2) Jump and land on the balls of the feet. 3) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, and bend the knees. 4) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend the knees, and use your arms when you jump. 5) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend knees, and maintain good back posture. 6) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend knees, maintain good back posture, and be silent when you land.