David Banks, a Glasgow based parkour athlete, who has been training for about 16 years, has been undergoing feats of endurance for causes close to his heart for some years. This particular one, however, was slightly different as he decided to reach out to the community after he sustained an injury. The response was amazing.
Why Rail Balancing?
The Rail Balance Marathon event was created after David went to the Art of Retreat and met the founders of two great charities Seelenparkour (Soul Parkour – PakourONE) and Free Your Instinct (UK) who deliver mental health provision and parkour tuition to those in crisis.
He felt the image of balancing on a rail, putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward was an image that worked really well with these charities and it was clear to him that it is what he wanted to do.
The Unfortunate Events
He had initially planned to do the rail balance marathon at the end of last year and had trained for it but unfortunately, he badly dislocated his knee. This caused him to reschedule it for 21/04/2020. Then 5 weeks before the rescheduled date he dislocated his knee again and tore a tendon. Unfortunately, it meant that he would be unable to participate in the event on the date in which he set.
However instead of postponing it further, he decided to reach out to the parkour community. 33 athletes from around the world responded to him to join the Rail Balance Marathon, each completing 1-mile of balancing.
This is not the first endurance challenge David has done, a couple of other outstanding challenges he completed to raise money were:
- 8-mile Quadrupede walk for the Haiti Earthquake
- London Marathon on stilts with Roo Callaghan for NSPCC
Seelenparkour – Soul Parkour – PakourONE
Soul Parkour mainly helps people who have experience with (or are experiencing) mental crisis. Soul Parkour means the fusion of the aspects from Parkour according to TRuST Education (by the ParkourONE Academy) and those of professional peer-support in mental health and psychiatric care.
Project leader Madeleine Küsel is both, a ParkourONE Head-coach with almost a decade of experience with Parkour and at the same time, a person who has their own experience with mental crisis and today works as a professional peer-supporter in a psychiatric hospital.
She stands for hope, courage, and confidence when the person she is working with cannot find it themselves at the time. She focuses on the resources of the person, the opportunities and possible ways and manners to deal with the circumstances and supports them to explore their own individual road to recovery.
Free Your Instinct
Founded by Charlotte Boenigk (a former exercise specialist for NHS Mental Health Services), Charley Hobson-Merrett (a former NHS accountant) and Jacob Peregrine-Wheller (a ParkourUK qualified coach with a background working with participants with emotional and behavioural difficulties) in 2015.
It is a charity that helps support the needs of people with mental health through the delivery of specialist Parkour Classes by qualified and experienced coaches.
Aims and Objectives:
- To use Parkour to promote mental and physical wellbeing to those – who have recognised a mental health need.
- To physically and mentally enrich the lives of users through parkour.
- To offer development opportunities and coaching.
- To promote the Charity within the Mental Health community.
- To ensure a duty of care to all members of the club
So far over half the amount of the £2000 target has been raised.
THE 31 ATHLETES:
- Eve Eggleston, located in Indiana
- Daniel Truong, located in Portland, Oregon, representing Forge Parkour
- Daniel Smith, located in Aberdeen, representing Ukemi
- Christopher Grant, located in Glasgow
- Stefano Sarpio Sardano, located in Edinburgh, representing Access Parkour
- Jess Lishman, located in Sheffield
- Charlotte Boenigk, located in Somerset, representing Free Your Instinct
- Ekaitz Arizkorreta, located in London
- Paul van Kaldenkerken, located in Berlin, representing Metropolis Parkour
- Georgij Sosunov, located in Offenbach, representing Those Guys Collective
- Martin Wille, located in Berlin, representing Fußgänger e.V.
- Ossi Ilano, located in Oulu, representing Oulun parkour-seura
- Jedhai Pimental, located in Brasillia, representing Parkour Generations Brasil
United Arab Emirates:
- Jereme Denis Sanders, located in Dubai, representing Explore Parkour
After David has recovered he will honour his word and attempt to be the first person ever to complete a marathon (26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometers) whilst balancing on a rail.
Event Facebook Page:
Find out more about the Charities and Organizers:
Free Your Instinct:
Seelenparkour:Soul Parkour / ParkourONE
David Banks: https://www.facebook.com/davidbanksartist/
Injury photo: David Banks Artist
Free Your Instinct Photo: http://freeyourinstinct.org/
Athlete Pictures from: Parkour Rail Balance Marathon for Mental Health Go Fund Me
Soul Parkour Video: Humanistischer Verband Berlin-Brandenburg KdöR
©World of Parkour 2020