When my husband and I decided to move out of LA, it was a tough decision. But we were in a place (mentally and spiritually) where we wanted to focus on raising our kids, out of the city. My husband went to Law School, and I started 2 home based businesses. Along the way, we had 3 more kids (bringing our grand total to 4 awesome boys). We taught Kung Fu out of our garage to neighborhood kids, and were continually encouraged by friend's to open a school. My husband and I were never interested in opening a school. For one, it's really hard to make a living, and with 4 tiny little kids, law school, 2 businesses, it was just too much to take on.
After a few years, we met some people in the community, and they happened to be awesome Parkour athletes. We started training with them. And it reawakened a passion that had been dormant. I LOVE movement, and I love sharing that with my kids. Along this journey I enrolled my kids in several gyms. I was disappointed to find out that EVERY SINGLE gym would not allow adults to take classes or participate in open gym with our kids. This idea was so foreign to me. I had just spent a decade of my life training in gyms, where adults up into their 60's were training in gymnastics, stunts, martial arts fight choreography, parkour... you name it. My first thought was, "Hmmm... that's a terrible example to set for the children. You train them from the beginning that they can only move this way until they are 21? Then after that they'll be too injured, or too old to continue moving in the way that brings them joy?"
|CONFINE YOURSELF! Don't even dare to do anything more than THIS. Walk in place zoohuman!! Walk in place for hours on end!! This is what Adulting looks like. Look forward to it.|
Finally, a glimmer of hope. I found a gym that offered one adult gymnastics class on a late weekday evening. Alright, it was good enough. I could enroll myself and my kids as members, take that class, then on Saturday's play with my kids during open gym. I was soooooo excited. I thought... FINALLY! A place that I can move in the way that brings me joy, and a place that I can make memories with my kids. I took the class. The other people in the class were in their late teens, early 20s. They were friendly, but maybe a little judgmental. "You're pretty good for how old you are". Uh... "Thanks... I think?" I didn't let it bother me. I was just super excited to be able to do my thing.
|Meh... I'd rather be awesome.|
This incident made a profound impact on me. I realized that there was a serious discrimination issue happening. The next clue was during a conversation at one of our Parkour training sessions. A few of the practitioners were discussing "Movement Discrimination." Some reported being stopped by police officers if they were walking on their hands on the side walk. One of them was even ticketed for "Disturbing the Peace". My thoughts, "No one can tell you how to move your body. That's a basic human right. I'm not okay with this."
A deeper sense of purpose started to flourish within me. This Greater Sacramento area in particular, needed a change. There was a whole community of people who wanted to be free to move their bodies in a way that brings them fulfillment. Like running, jumping, climbing, handstanding, cartwheeling, flipping... there's nothing wrong with that, and it doesn't matter if you are old or young, you have a right to do that with your body.
Then the light bulb went off. Hey... let's start a school. Let's open a diversified movement and Parkour Gym and welcome all ages, and people. The community NEEDS this. And that is where the vision began.
5 years later, we have a beautifully diverse group of athletes and artists, of all ages, of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, doing their thing. So let's all keep doing our thing, because it matters. Us doing our thing creates a better world, a healthier world, and can be a catalyst for change and good.