No doubt you are aware that it is that time of year when all the students head back off to school. If you are a student, you may begin to find it become more difficult to train as often as you would like; school activities and teams as well as other conflicts like work may begin to fill your schedule, but you must keep training. It only takes a couple weeks of inactivity to lose your current level of fitness, and as such it is essential that you work to stay active and train when you can. I know that some of you are thinking “easier said than done’, so to simplify the task for you here are some very basic and simple ideas to help you stay fit.

Organize regular meets. If you host a parkour meet or gym meet weekly or bimonthly, then it becomes easier to maintain attendance and schedule events around your training. If you work to establish these regular meets and conditioning sessions, then you can know in advance when you can train and you can weave the rest of your life into that schedule.

Torture yourself a little bit. This is a simple way to stay in shape. Designate certain exercises for certain unhealthy or even regular events (twenty push-ups for turning on the television or computer, ten push-ups every time you change the channel; fifty sit-ups before you head out to the movies and fifty more when you return if you ate fast food while you were out). If you torture yourself a little bit like this everyday you will not only maintain (and possibly increase) your fitness level but you may also begin to stray from unhealthy practices.

Torture yourself a little bit more. At 5:30am (or earlier if you are already a morning person) you wake up to your alarm clock, fall out of bed, dress and put on some running shoes; you then run some interval training for half an hour and come back in time to shower, eat and catch the bus. You won’t want to do it and very few people would want to but it has its benefits. If you run every morning, you will stay active, promote better eating and sleeping habits, and better wake up to the day (plus it’s nice out at 5:30am).

Go to the gym. It won’t kill you, but should do the exact opposite. Snag a membership to your local YMCA or Goodlife gym and start working out. If you find the right place it can be pretty cheap, and regardless of the price you will want to earn what you bought.

It doesn’t take much except willpower to get you going, and staying fit isn’t hard. For those of you who will still be tracing (hopefully all of you), there is another thing to consider. A lot of traceurs train around school areas, but come this time of year there are a lot of small children around the areas. Be very cautious about where and how you train; kids are very impressionable and if they see you training, they will likely try and replicate what you have done. Yes we want to publicize parkour a little bit, but these children are physically unfit for the brutal beating your body takes, and they often do not possess the technique, precautionary measures or the maturity and proper mentality to try parkour.

If you jump fifteen feet down, they will try it too. You want to always make sure you are setting a good example (regardless of how many kids are watching you trace) and watch where you trace too. Not only are students impressionable and likely to try it if you are seen, but administration is back to work as well and is not so kind. If you train during or close to after their school hours you may be asked to leave for trespassing; confront this courteously and leave if asked to do so. If you don’t show respect you may never earn it.

Have fun, keep training and stay safe.

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