31 May 2014

(B)East Coast 2014: Part 2

Sunday was the last day of the event, and my favorite day. We all headed out to Great Falls (Virginia side) to play in the woods and barbecue in the park. We got there late morning and lay out on our blankets to relax for a bit, then a very interesting game started...

The game was dubbed frisolleyoccer. I'm sorry, what was that, A? You heard me. Frisolleyoccer. A combination of frisbee, volleyball, and soccer. We stood in a circle of about 15-30 people (people came in and out) and played catch with the frisbee, while also attempting to keep the volleyball in the air, and kicking the soccer ball back and forth. Because we can't just play one game... that would be boring. It also sounded like an auction because in order to keep track of the ball people would yell the name of the ball as it came near them or as they got rid of it. It got really overwhelming when all three came your way. I was scared I'd get hit in the face but it was so much fun! Quite the mental & physical workout too because it was so hard to keep track of things.

After our epic game of frisolleyoccer (I really just like saying that word..), we ate some hot dogs & burgers and then headed out for a hike.

Group Photo @ Great Falls, VA
Photo Credit: Mike M.
We started along the trail until we got to the giant rocks along the water where we could climb around and play (see below). There are tons of different levels here which is what makes it so perfect. The climbs range from little taste of adventure to crazy scary. I also find this part of the day highly entertaining because our group tends to do the same climbs as other people with ropes... except we do it without any equipment. Sorry we're that cool?

I'm that spot in the distance with neon green shirt & hot pink shoes...
Photo Credit: SH
I was proud of myself this weekend because I did a few climbs that were really challenging for me. I don't know what it is but I feel so comfortable out on the rocks. It's like I flip a switch in my brain and go into primal mode, climbing around on all fours and scrambling up the rock face searching for the next grip or foothold. My mind was completely free and I was just absorbed in my movement.

We did a few awesome climbs as we made our way up and down and up and back down to the water again. While we were on a rock near the water, we took turns laying down to stick our hand in to cool off. Don't worry, we held each other down so no one went flying in. The current was so strong that when you stuck your arm in, it felt like the wind pressing against your arm when you stick your hand out the car window. I wanted to put my head under to cool off so I had someone hold me down as I bent from the hips, held the rocks next to me, and stuck my head down into the swirling water. That was exciting! It felt so good though. Definitely worth it.

We kept climbing around, feeling refreshed after our mini bath, and continued pushing ourselves as we chose new paths to get up the rocks. Every now and then we would pause to sit and enjoy the absolutely beautiful view around us. Ah, nature. Sorry for the lack of photos, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves to document the adventure.

After a while, we decided to head back because we lost most of our group and a backpack somewhere along the way. As we ran back, striding from rock to rock to tree root to rock, we kept an eye out for the lost bag. Finally, we saw it sitting on a rock by the water towards the beginning of the trail. Naturally, we wanted to race for it. M stayed at the top and I heard someone yelling at me to be careful as I started down but I was in primal mode, mind blank, like a lizard scurrying down the rocks and striding across them once I got to the bottom. Of course, as we learned at the Savage Race, I'm not very good at like... walking... or standing. I made it to the bag first (which is kind of amazing) and then threw my arms up in triumph... and flew back onto my ass. Luckily, nothing was hurt. Only my dignity. I really wish we had that on film.

We collected the bag and made it back up the rocks to the trail so we could head back to the BBQ area. When we got back, we lay down in the grass and did nothing for the next few hours. It was absolutely perfect.

I had the time of my life this weekend and met so many amazing people. Not only is everyone in the parkour community incredibly talented in their own unique ways, but they're also just really cool people. As my roommate said at one point this weekend, we're really good at fun.

It's always sad to say goodbye but I'm sure most of us will meet again. At the very least, there's always next year! Thank you to M2, Ryland, and the entire APK crew that made this weekend possible. I love being a part of this extraordinary community. Never stop playing!

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