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Mike’s JumpFest 2018 Experience

Michael Tawil

My Jump Fest Experience 2018

Going to jump fest this year was an astonishing parkour experience. It was my first time there and my favorite part was the campfire talks and the backflip for bucks. Backflip for bucks is a way to encourage people to donate to breast cancer. Every time a person donates $1, an athlete will do a back flip. The trip started on Saturday, July 21st at 12 pm. FIM Street team and two of the FIM students met up at the Freedom In Motion facility and took two cars and drove for 20 hours from Murrieta California to Colorado Spring. We got to Jump Fest around 8 am the next day, about the same time as everyone else. The first day there, we signed in, introduced ourselves and met 100 parkour athletes. I tried to memorize everyone’s names, but I would be lying if I said that I did. After meeting over 100 athletes there they went over the rules with us then we had dinner.

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Group photo at JumpFest2018

The next 7 days there started and ended the same. Breakfast at 7:30 am, Keynotes at 9 am, dinner at 6 pm and then campfire discussion from 7 pm till 10 pm. During the day 11:30 till 5:30 there was always something new todo. The keynotes was a great way to start of the day, we had motivational speakers, athletes talking about the great ways to train the body, techniques to teach ourselves and a lot more! I learned a lot from athletes who’ve been in this sport longer than I have, these keynotes gave me the motivation to drive myself and work harder not only in parkour but in everything! The jams at jump fest weren’t like any other jam I’ve been too. Before jump fest, I haven’t been to a jam that had more than 30 people. So training with over 100 athletes gave me so much energy and I felt like I’m apart of something big. The first

day went to Manitou Springs where we jumped and flipped over a very colorful structure with an open grass area to it! We were supposed to go to the waterfalls after, around 4:30 but a huge storm came around 4 pm. We all got an Amber Alerts for a Flash Flood and a tornado warning. We rushed to the car and drove to a local grocery store for shelter.

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We stayed there for about an hour or two then drove back to the campsite after the storm passed. Day 3, we went to Cottonwood but we got rained on not too long after we got there and left. The next day, which was two days before the completion, we split into two groups some, went back to Manitou to continue the jam that got interrupted by the storm others went to train at Nevada Ave. Day 5, the last day we had before our completion was our “rest day” everyone slipped up. Everyone in the Fim team and I went to look at local parkour gym in the area and then went to 24 hours fitness to swim in their pool and relax in the Jacuzzi before we drove back to the campsite. Day 6 & 7, competition day! The first day of competition was the speed and tech. The tech competition was very intense to watch. Some really great athletes there competed at their best and it was an honor to compete with them. We were not able to finish due to another storm that happened. We had help pack all the equipment away and rush out of there.


The Second day of the competition was style and finishing the tech. The morning of the competition I thought that I overslept so I rushed and got dressed, grabbed a red bull and some snacks that were in my tent and found a ride to the competition. When I got there I found out that I didn’t oversleep and I got there early, I felt relieved, so I went to a nearby subway and got some breakfast then I helped set up. The floor was a little wet in the morning from last nights storm we had to keep wiping down the blocks from the wet shoe prints that they kept on getting, but about an hour into the competition the floor and the blocks dried up.

Even though some of us, including me, had to compete on a wet surface we were able to make it work and it was fun watching all creative and powerful moves that were being thrown there. During both days of the competition, we took a break for a few minutes to do the backflip for bucks. Every $1 donated one of the athletes would do a backflip. At one of the breaks for backflips for bucks, so many people donated that we got $500. All the athletes there (Over 100 athletes) stood on the grass and did 5 consecutive backflips. Going to jump fest taught me so much and I made some amazing friends from all over there country. The late-night campfire talks were something to remember, a lot of stories were shared, some deep conversations, and a lot a laughter. Even though a lot of our training got interrupted by the rain, being around people with great energy made a whole trip worth it! After the competition we went back to the campsite said good-bye to everyone we met, then drove back to California.

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