This is beginners parkour, yet I can’t help but feel singularly out of my league as I try to run up the surface after sprinting towards it at full speed. Everyone else manages to scale it, while I impotently manage to graze the top with my fingertips. I’m told if it’s easier, I can simply do a handstand against the wall. And this is just the 30-minute warm-up.
The two-hour class is one of several offered by Parkour Generations, one of the world’s largest collections of freerunning specialists. There are several instructors available to help put the humble novice safely through their paces.
After practicing a series of runs and high jumps, we do circuits around what is essentially a tricked-out jungle gym. At one station, there are low-to-the-ground railings, and we’re taught how to balance jumps (and, most importantly, land) from one to the other.
Though I’m unfit, I’m surprised that the class actually gets easier, and fun. I’m tempted to sign up for another few sessions, if simply to boast to friends that I can scale the highest wall in the playground. £8.
Academy Sport, 255 Harrow Road
(entrance on Torquay Street), W2 5EZ.
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