The Debrief: PKGen Questions...Tara Robinson
How long have you been a Traceuse?
Not long enough. Seventeen glorious months!
What movements are you currently working on?
Kong-precisions, muscle-ups, general flow.
What percentage of your training is conditioning?
Right now it's probably 75% although that's new to the last couple of months. I'm in the zone for beasting and trying to protect a weak ankle.
I think now I've built a very basic level of strength that allows me to move and pull myself up over things (which I definitely couldn't do two years ago) I've become more excited about becoming stronger, and don't partition it off as 'CHORE' in my head in the same way. I approach conditioning with the same playful game-playing as I do technique and that works for me.
My phone's 'Tabata App' is strangely addictive. It whistles at me when I'm allowed to rest and when I have to work. It's the only App I have on my HTC Disaster, and it makes me happy.
Favourite strength and conditioning exercise?
One-legged squats. I thought I'd never be able to do them a year ago. If I want to make them more fun, I do them on a rail. Strength plus balance = ultimate win.
Who is your biggest influence?
On my creativity and playfulness: Steve Moss
On beasting: Kushtrim Hasimi
On being a kick-ass girl, strong, brilliant and dedicated: Shirley Darlington
On putting health and fitness at the heart of my daily life: My Dad (although he'd find the idea of that hilarious)
Sushi, nectarines and my Mum's home-grown tomatoes.
Three current favourite training music tracks?
Totally mood dependent. Yesterday it was Arctic Monkeys, today it might be Quantic Soul Orchestra, tomorrow I feel it could be Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.
On no day will it be Justin Bieber or the cast of Glee.
Item in your bag you couldn't go training without?
Water because... water = better training = getting stronger = better training = getting stronger and so on until I die or at least until I'm stronger than my little brother.
And I usually have my purple lacrosse ball which my very special friend gave me for rolling into my muscles.
How do you approach breaking a jump?
I visualise myself landing it perfectly. And if I'm still getting the willies then I walk away, breathe, and look at it again. If I'm thinking about the jump then it's probably because I know I can do it, I'm just scared to commit. I've started saying "Yes" in my head lately... it seems to work...
Where do you see Parkour in ten years time?
I didn't fill this section of the questionnaire in first time, but PKGen said I had to so here goes...
The community will be massive and local authorities will be pushing us into purpose built parks to train.
(They'll probably be doing this virtually though, with holograms of the new Boris Johnson on every good ledge, rail and wall which tell us to stay away from residential areas. And then, if we walk through the hologram it's highly likely our internal cyberchips will become infected and our muscle-memory will be wiped, forcing us to lose any progression in control and technique achieved that week.)
The community will be massive and the sport will be well-known but still not mainstream. Parkour is non-competitive so cannot become a spectator sport in the same way as tennis or football. Spectators mean money, and I'm fairly sure we'll still be a capitalist society in 2022.
The community will be massive and I'll be 36 and I'll have some children either through accident or design. I'll be checking they've got their trainers, t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms in their bags because they've got parkour instead of gym at primary school. And they'll never have to wear little shorts and white vests.
One piece of advice to Traceurs just starting out:
Don't compare yourself to other people.
Your body is different to theirs so you'll find some things easier than them, and other things much harder.
It took me too long to realise that nobody cares if you could do a kong in your first six days or only just got your climb-up after a year. They'll only be happy that you can and encouraging if you can't. And if they're not, don't train with them.