The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Mark Crockett: Local Traceur


There aren’t many people at San Luis Obispo High School who can call themselves a traceur, or someone who practices parkour; there is one student, however, that has made it a passion of his. Expressions got in touch with junior Mark Crockett to find out a little more about his unique hobby.

Expressions: So what exactly is ‘parkour’?

Junior Mark Crockett: Parkour is gymnastics without a spring floor, skateboarding without a skateboard, and BMX without a bike. It is movement adapted to the environment; wherever and whatever that might be.

Expressions: How long have you been doing parkour?

Crockett: I have been doing parkour since the end of freshman year, so almost two years.

Expressions: What made you start?

Crockett: I saw a friend working on front flips into the long jump sand box and I wanted to try to do them as well. I asked him where he learned to do it and he said Performance Athletics Gymnastics. He invited me to a class and it just took off from there.

Expressions:  Is there any specific differences between parkour and something like…gymnastics?

Crockett: The main difference between parkour and gymnastics is that there is no set form and there is no right way to do something, only what looks good; this makes it more open to innovation and creativity rather than such a focus on form. Parkour also is a hybrid of many different sports including parts from break dancing, gymnastics, and martial arts, so it is a molding pot for learning amazing physical feats.

Expressions: When you are trying to learn new moves (jumps, flips, etc), how long does it usually take to finally master it?

Crockett: For each move it is much different, but generally everybody has strengths. I am best at moves where my whole body works together as one piece, something like a side flip, everything is working to pull to the flip around. These kind of flips take me about one to two weeks to be able to feel confident in and try outside and about two months to master, while moves that take many different limbs moving in different ways like a corkscrew have taken me much longer, more like four months to get comfortable with and six months to master.

Expressions: Is there anything you wish you’d known when you first began parkour as a hobby?

Crockett: Be safe about everything. 

Expressions: Does doing parkour so much require any strength training?

Crockett: I don’t really do any strength training other than going to the gymnastics gym to practice on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and training outside on Saturday and Sunday. Most of the time I am too sore from doing parkour that I take the rest of my time to recover. On weeks where I cannot train because it is raining or something I do a lot of body weight exercises, but I try to stay away from lifting any weights because it makes you more heavy on the ground in most cases, and it is best to be as springy as possible.

Expressions: Is there any career paths that open from becoming great at parkour, or is it solely a hobby?

Crockett: There aren’t that many because parkour is still so new, especially in the United States. Some of the career paths would be to become a stuntman or look for a sponsorship from larger companies like Nike or GoPro, or to start your own parkour gym like the Tempest Free running Academy. Parkour is mostly a hobby right now, but as the sport grows I am sure that more opportunities will start to pop up. It is only a matter of how long that will take.

Expressions: To wrap things up; is there any advice you’d give people interested in getting into parkour?

Crockett: To people who might want to try this sport I would tell you that parkour looks daunting and it looks, in many ways impossible, but the sport is only a series of steps; one leads to another and then the next one and before you know it, you can do things that you never imagined from yourself. Make no mistake about it, parkour is a lot of work, and there is a steep learning curve, but before you know it, there is nothing that can stop you. In the end, that is what this sport is all about; overcoming your fears and pushing your boundaries to find what you are truly capable of.


Click here to check out some of his videos.




Leave a Comment
Donate to Expressions

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Luis Obispo High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Expressions

Comments (0)

All Expressions Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *