Ask anyone who practices parkour why they do it, and you’ll hear plenty of answers. Some will tell you they do it for the fitness and strength aspect, some will talk about the challenge, the camaraderie, even the spiritual aspect. But there’s one thing every traceur will tell you: it changes the way you see the world.
This phenomenon is what we like to call “parkour vision.” Once you realize what your body is capable of, you start seeing the world as a big obstacle course, figuring out how you’d get over or around each object, scale each wall, get through each window. It becomes instinctual, and in the zombie apocalypse it could very well save your life.
Imagine you’re being chased by a horde of zombies, and you come across this building:
To most people, there are three options: down the street to the left or right, and up the stairs. Each is perfectly viable, but none will actually improve your situation: no matter which path you choose, every single one of those zombies is going to follow you.
To someone with parkour vision, though, there is a fourth path:
That wall would be fairly easy to run up and climb over. It’s very fast (would only take a few seconds) and once you’re up and over, the zombies not only can’t reach you, but they can’t even see you. You could sneak off in either direction, losing all those zombies on your tail in the process.
Here’s a similar example:
Again, the stairs are an obvious choice, but to a traceur, running up the wall and climbing over the rail is just as obvious. If you move your approach out wide, most of the zombies won’t even see the stairs.
Parkour vision isn’t just about running up walls, though. Consider this setup:
Whereas most people see a table and chairs, and the path along the left side, a traceur sees a launching platform and a nice patch of stumbling blocks to trip up a zombie chasing you. It’s not going to stop a dozen zombies, but it might take out half of them, making the rest that much easier to evade.
I found half a dozen other examples just walking home from work, so I’ll probably revisit this topic again later, but you get the idea.
I’ve made the argument before but I can’t stress it enough: when you’re being chased – especially by zombies – it’s not just about getting to a safe place, it’s about putting distance between you and them, and every second counts. And when you’re proficient in parkour, you start to see escape routes and avenues you wouldn’t have even considered before.