Monday, December 17, 2007


I was going to write a day-to-day report of my trip to Tours but that would be quite boring to read and would only make sense if you could see the places I was describing. Instead I'm just going to mention a few important things and keep it short.

I had high expectations of the trip but the reality far surpassed those hopes. In short it was the most progressive week in my training so far and I really pushed myself, especially mentally. I've come home with a greater understanding of what I should be focusing on, how to deal with fears, how to let my body adapt to new obstacles, how to trust my instincts and how to teach others. The most important thing I did during the week was to bring my mental level in tune with my technical and physical capacities. I feel much more comfortable knowing exactly what I can do and what I can't yet.

A great deal was learnt from training and spending time with Thomas and I thank him for everything he said and showed me but also for everything he didn't say - to allow me work certain things out for myself. He found a great way of communicating with me when I was thinking too much about a new jump, sometimes using encouragement and sometimes helping me to become angry at the obstacle. He said just enough and just the right things to help change my mindset and 'flick the switch to green'.

I wish to also thank his mother for the incredible hospitality, I can't begin to describe how appreciated it was (Hi to Nemo and Nissy too!).

The highlight of the week for me, and perhaps both of us, was a jump to a tree that was rooted in a wide and fast-flowing river. The conditions were very difficult with no way to test the landing surfaces, the stability or grip of the tree. The take off was less than great too, with wet leaves and an unstable ground that threatened to fall in to the river at any moment. We made a decision to go for it and after a lot of mental battling we both made it to the tree and back without falling in. To face a jump in such difficult conditions with a real incentive for not messing up was refreshing to me and I felt so alive when I caught the branch I aimed for. The jump was not particularly big and the video really does not do it justice, but it will forever hold a special place in my mind for being the greatest obstacle I overcame during my trip to Tours.

Other notable moments worth a mention included a long and arduous off-ground challenge that truly tested a wide range of technical and physical elements (kudos to Thomas who did the vast majority of it with 4 litres of water and a camera in a backpack!) and a really tough finger shimmy on a tough rounded ledge that had my forearms in spasms and my heart racing!

We only filmed a small portion of what we got up to and even then it was mainly single techniques and small technical movements. Although it is not at all a fair representation of the excellent week, I've put together 7 minutes of the best footage to share with people, hope you enjoy it.



Dane Grant said...

Training methods soo close to my heart, and I would love to see more of the advanced traceurs pushing towards this style.

Glad to have you back on homeground! :-)

Ben Nuttall said...

Sounds an awesome trip. Thomas sure seems a great guy to train with. His blog's a good read too (because that's how we judge people in this day and age, that's what really matters).

Haha that tree gap sounded mental in your write-up, as if it was a suicidal 30-foot drop with a stupidly far questionable lone branch to reach to. Anyway the actual gap you did seemed cool too, even if there was a smaller chance of you dying (because that's what matters in parkour, according to Simon Cowell...)

Glad you had a rewarding time over there. I can't wait to get back to Lisses.

Are you a pukka Parkour Coach now then?

Hope you're alright man. We'll have to arrange to train some time, I'll pop over to Leicester again in the new year.

Take care,


Bruno Campos said...

Thank you for sharing this footage of you and Thomas, he´s such an important figure in the Parkour scene, its always great to watch him move. In the article you wrote something about "become angry at the obstacle". I don´t think I understand exactly what you mean...

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Thomas said...

Hey man, i'm happy to see some of the footage of what we've done, i had a great time. I'm happy you enjoyed too !
The tree jump was my favourite !

See you later and have fun !

Thiago Lima said...

About the latest article at ..

In this journey called life, you can count on a young brazilian coworker.

Take care.

bushina said...

Ooo i see you are not wasting your time :) I like what i saw, that`s the way people should train! By the way that move you do before jumping the tree in the river is spontaneous for releasing the stress which has covered the entire back and chest. This training stress is good ! Keeps you sharp and stuff, but don`t let it go to distress (ultra stress). Good luck Chris i enjoyed the video so much, thank you and a happy new year.

TraceurZeno said...

From what I read and saw in the video, it looked an awsome few training sessions, with the essence of Parkour at heart.



Anonymous said...

HI Blane! I?m Ixek from Urban runners, Mexico, I?ve previously commented here, and this time the purpose of my comment is just a bit different.

MY team has a website ( and we have and special section called traceur of the month, and we kind of interview traceurs from different parts and teams, so we were wondering if you could help us with a short interview for our website, we all have followed your training as well as the texts you write and we are def. convinced that you have good things to provide to all the community.

If you accept, I would appreciate if you could send me an e-mail.


Chris 'Blane' Rowat said...

Thanks guys.

Bruno, the idea of using emotion to deal with new obstacles is because if you were actually forced to use your techniques to survive, you are likely to have many strong emotions ranging from anger to fear. If you train whilst employing these different mindsets then you are more likely to handle them if/when you have to.

Nice to know Thiago... thanks. ;-)

Ixek, I would gladly answer some questions for you and your friends, I will email you now.


Ben Nuttall said...

That's very interesting what you said about being forced to use your techniques in order to survive.

Do you think there's much difference between employing these extreme mindsets to make you do a jump and telling yourself you CAN make a jump because you've already done it, eliminating the chance of failure in your mind? Hope that makes sense.


Unique said...

Very nice, you inspired me to start my own blog. I'm progressing slow but sure that it would help. Noone reads it but it's cool remembering that it's for myself and not others.

Anyway nice video.