Skelia Talks With Jêdrzej, Node.js Backend Developer at Skelia Poland
Jêdrzej has been practicing parkour for over 11 years and it helps him get stronger both physically and mentally. He talks about how he got interested in parkour and freerunning, what is the nature of these activities, and what advantages they bring.
— Greetings, Jêdrzej! Tell us what you do and how you like working at Skelia.
— I’ve been working at Skelia for a year as a Node.js Backend Developer at the EnergyLab team. We develop services to help people live a healthy lifestyle and monitor their progress in a fun way.
My team is fantastic. The environment in which you live and work is very important and I believe that ours consists of smart and ambitious people who evolve together. Also, the project is interesting, we utilize the latest technologies and concepts so there are new challenges every day that help me become a better professional.
— Happy to hear that. Now, tell us a bit about your hobby.
— My biggest hobby is a little unusual—it’s parkour. It’s a way of finding the most efficient movement to cross over obstacles.
Parkour originated from military training, or even earlier, from fast crossing a road in a wild area. So, it’s the art of getting from A to B as fast as possible using as little energy as possible. It involves special techniques adapted to overcoming different obstacles.
Parkour is often associated with freerunning but they are somewhat different. In freerunning, there’s no time or energy limit: you can use any move on the obstacle as long as you have fun.
In my case, parkour naturally turned into freerunning because I was looking for extra entertainment and fun with new moves. Is there anything cooler than doing acrobatics on obstacles?
— How did you choose these activities in the first place?
— There was no particular reason behind it, it was just a lot more fun for me than, say, going to parties. This doesn’t mean I don’t like going out, but I just enjoyed jumping from 4 meters to the ground or doing flips more than drinking alcohol.
To be honest, I realized I loved it when I fell for the first time: I found it very challenging and that hooked me. So I decided that I had to become faster, stronger, and more flexible every day. I’ve been learning lots of new elements, adding each of them to my skillset, my “flow during the run.”
After years of doing parkour, I can say with certainty that if you’re not convinced of something and you don’t like what you do, you will not stick to it for too long. To get better in any given activity, you have to face difficulties, so if you don’t get satisfaction in overcoming obstacles, it is impossible to go on.
To learn the tricks that you see in the movies or in the photos in this article, I had to fall 10,000 times and repeat each move 10,000 times more. It really teaches perseverance.
— When did you start doing parkour?
— When I was in middle school, I saw a few boys jumping and got interested in what they were doing. I loved climbing trees and other walls and I was always impressed when someone could easily overcome obstacles. Those boys told me they practiced parkour and invited me to a training session after school. I immediately agreed, having no idea at that time that I met a good friend Kamil Zubrzycki*, who now is a coach at GoJump Mateczne Kraków. We started a group together called Elusive Parkour.
— Wow, so you’ve been doing this long enough! How much time do you dedicate to your hobby?
— It depends. When I started and was younger, I would often spend the whole day outside. There were no specialized gyms so we could go to the sand mines and practice acrobatic elements there. Sometimes, someone would let us train at school using school equipment.
In later years, when I had much more things going on, I tried to maintain consistency and train three times a week. Now, due to a large number of duties, it can be only one training per week.
— What do you like the most about parkour and freerunning?
— It connects your mind with your body. It forces you to put yourself in uncomfortable situations when you are afraid of something. This way, it helps you “map your mind,” convince yourself that you can do something you never thought you would be able to do. It increases your confidence in yourself and your body. It brings you to the “here and now” meditation-like state, thoughtless and emotionless. It increases body awareness, teaches control and perseverance. Parkour and freerunning are a whole lifestyle, the art of moving and adapting in life.
— What about the challenging aspects and how dangerous parkour is?
— It depends on your level. At some point, movement elements become subconscious. Your body can’t forget what you’ve learned, and more advanced elements are easier because you’re already prepared for them through practice. Of course, physical preparation plays a big role here. Trained muscles protect you better against falls and injuries than bones.
— Do you have any specific goals in parkour and freerunning?
— As I’ve said, it’s the art of moving around in life, so my goal is to get better every day.
— Thanks for sharing your passion with us! We would also love to hear some of your recommendations to those who want to give it a try as well.
— A lot of people who start doing parkour think that these are organized indoor activities. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but the main idea is to take advantage of the obstacles present in the urban environment. As we say in our community, if you think that you can do something, do it on the street.
I encourage you to be active outdoors with a knowledgeable trainer who will teach you how to do parkour and freerunning safely. I’m sure it will instill in you a passion for overcoming obstacles.