“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

-Robert F Kennedy

Parkour is a young man’s sport.

It is fraught with danger, and inspires me to be more dangerous than it is prudent for me to be. Sometimes, I receive my just payment for participating in danger: an injury that lays me out for weeks.

There are two forms of difficulty that I must contend with; first, the rest of my body is unable to exercise, to sweat, to purge the toxins that accumulate in everyday life, all because of one minor injury off in the corner of my body. Second, my overall fitness is rapidly diminishing; where before, I was looking to gain a few inches on my dash vaults, now I know there will be three weeks of training before I can even complete one dash vault.

Thanks to my injury, which is a sprained and NOT a broken ankle, I have removed myself from the ongoing challenge that is staying in shape, and relied on alcohol and ibuprofen as my painkillers. Now I must undo the damage to my gut when I am healed enough to hold a downward dog, and willing enough to reach two hundred crunches, by devoting additional hours to my days that consist of fitness and little else.

I ready myself for this upcoming commitment, by hating my ghetto cane, which was cracked in two while I used the motorized shopping cart at NewSeasons. I had it askew in the basket, while my kids were enjoying this rare prospect of standing on the segue between my legs, excited to be floating above the linoleum at a new level. Did they feel this excitement the first time they were in a shopping basket? Would they tire of this transportation as soon as it became normal?

The end of the cane caught a corner as we turned to go see the toys, and split in two. A nice girl from the wellness desk of the self-described ‘Nicest Store in Town’ came over and said, ‘Oh, can I fix that for you? I’ve got duct tape and chopsticks.’

‘Sure,’ I replied, resigned to spending fifteen minutes in the toy aisle anyway; why not give her a crack at repairing my cane?

Now, it works, and holds my weight, but visually reminds me that this is not a style I wish to affect for much longer. The elegance of a cane does not outmatch the ability to walk fluently, to run, and to soar.

I would heal myself, not just to walk again, but to regain the fluidity of movement that belongs to me when I traverse the cityscape, and it is all mine, to do with as I will. Wherever I wish to climb, to reach, to jump, is only within my ability, and I continually expand this sphere when I am training.

Although, I would never had injured myself if I did not reach to the impossible.

“Man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a Heaven for?”

-Robert Browning