The parkour community lives and dies by dedicated athletes who love the art of movement and find joy in sharing parkour with those around them. Steven Rimerman, a coach at Freedom in Motion's Loma Linda location is a shining example of someone passionate about parkour and thrives when he gets the opportunity to share the sport with the world. Steven recently created a custom design for our parkour store, see it here in our parkour clothing store! As thanks, we wanted to take a moment to share Steven's parkour journey.
How did parkour enter my life? It’s kind of a long story but here’s the ‘short’ version. I was about nineteen years old, fresh out of high school, and no longer able to participate in my school sport of wrestling. So I was looking to fill the void. At first, my friend group and I would spend our days and evenings learning how to do flips on a trampoline my buddy owned, which eventually led to me getting dragged to a local tumbling gym to practice “stunt falls” onto a map using a mini-tramp.
My friend at the time was aspiring to go into stunt work and “didn't want to be embarrassed” practicing these falls by himself. So I figured ‘why not’ and tagged along.
When we got there I was blown away by a group of guys doing things I thought only superheroes in movies did. They were vaulting over these big blocks, throwing flips ON THE GROUND, and even running up the wall and flipping off of it! “Wow”, I thought “I could NEVER do that”.
Almost as if my thoughts were written on my forehead, or maybe they just caught me staring, these guys asked if I wanted to learn how to do these amazing things they were all doing so effortlessly. I will admit I hesitated at first, thinking I was going to fall on my face; but I desperately wanted to be even the tiniest bit like them. After a full hour at this open gym session, I had learned a couple of vaults and even landed a backflip off of a block. Let me tell you, when my feet hit the ground, I was hit by the most euphoric feeling I had ever experienced. I felt transformed. I knew from that moment my life was changed forever.
" I had learned a couple of vaults and even landed a backflip off of a block. Let me tell you, when my feet hit the ground, I was hit by the most euphoric feeling I had ever experienced."
Tank Top Milestone
Cut to the present day. I've been in the game for over ten years, and even spent most of that time being an actual Parkour/Freerunning Coach at that very gym where it all started. Now currently employed at a full-blown Parkour Gym, Freedom in Motion, I feel like I'm walking the path that was always meant for me. I get to share this amazing sport and how it made me feel with the world.
With the summer heat bearing down I decided it was about time my gym had some tank tops; my attire of choice to train in. I was surprised to hear not only did the owner, Jimmy Davidson, like the idea but gave me the opportunity to design it. As a creative person who at one point wanted to start my own brand of parkour clothing, I jumped at the chance (parkour pun intended lol). After a couple weeks of designing (and redesigning,) I had an image I was happy with. The day I found out the boxes arrived I rushed over. I had to see it for myself. As I held that shirt in my hands, I felt so accomplished. Granted this is but one milestone among many I've had in my Parkour Career, but it felt special for a couple of reasons. I'd gone from some nineteen-year-old kid who only ever did flips on a trampoline or into a pool, to a well-versed PARKOUR COACH with a tank top I DESIGNED that people were going to ACTUALLY WEAR. A super proud moment for me.
Why is Parkour so special
For me, growing up as a small and skinny kid, I always felt inferior. I was too small, no one wanted me on sports teams, and I looked way younger than I was. I didn’t really have anything I felt ‘good’ at and that was definitely not good for my self-esteem. Like I said earlier, wrestling in highschool was one of the few things that gave me value and after that ended I felt kind of lost. So when I spent that first night of training, and realized “Dang, I'm actually kind of good at this”, I was instantly hooked. I couldn't get enough.
Parkour made me realize I could be good at something. It impressed people to show them these cool stunts I could do, just as I was impressed the first time I saw it done. And the best part was it wasn't like I was some chosen super hero; this was something everyone was capable of. That's what ultimately led me to coaching. I not only had a desire to learn because of how it made me feel, I wanted to share that feeling of self-worth and amazement of capability with anyone and everyone. To feel it for yourself is otherworldly. Landing a flip, making a jump, climbing a wall and thinking, “Wow….i just did that”, there's nothing quite like it. So why is parkour special? Well for me at least, it's a way of showing yourself you are capable of great things; and there's nothing more freeing than feeling your own potential.