Our first feature athlete is none other than Georgia Munroe, who has been mentioned by a few various athletes as an unrated beast, and the girl with biggest hops.
My own view as she is someone I know personally is that she is one of the strongest and most humble athletes I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know. In my view, she is possibly one of the best female parkour athletes out and about at the moment. She is also always willing to train with whomever and is ready to give advice if asked. She is currently doing the 365-day challenge and it’s a small demonstration of how she has grown as an athlete and person.
-GETTING INTO IT-
Georgia started art du deplacement/parkour between five to five and half years ago, after seeing loads of footage on Youtube of other people doing it. Watching people such as Daniel Ilbacca moving helped inspire her into the sport. As she was already from a heavy sports background, previously involved in playing rugby and football, their movement helped draw her into parkour and made her want to give it ago.
Another reason was her love of playing games such as Assassin’s Creed, Mirror’s Edge and other similar games which she described as having “parkour movement heavily embodied into it.”
-THE OLD SCHOOL START-
A way in which a lot of old school practitioners started was through trial and error. Similarly but with the aid of Youtube videos Georgia would go around Wembley after school (As she was still in high school at this point), get her sports gear on and try to mimic certain things she had seen in the videos. Such as wall-run, she would find a wall and practice running up it or rails to try balancing on.
Then she kept looking through the internet to see if there were any communities that did parkour. Through this, she found Parkour Generation’s classes and she decided wanted to go to those. Before she started her first class with Parkour Generations, her dad wanted to see how well she coped thus type of movement and to make sure she was safe whilst doing it.
In order to do this he took her around Wembley Arena and got her to do the following drills:
- Running up and down the stairs
- Hops up and down
- Bouncing on bars
- Jumping over things
- Other stuff like that
She did this until he was happy that she would be safe.
-THE FIRST CLASS-
Georgia cheerfully recalls her first Women’s class with Parkour Generations:
“I went to my first women’s class in Vauxhall, when the small Vauxhall walls were there…My first coaches were Fizz and Naomi.
I remember the whole group running over to the walls and I really wanted to impress them, because I had been practising on the streets and stuff.
So we were supposed to climb over the wall and come down. I rushed ahead of everyone to try and show off. I didn’t hear them going no, no, no… I didn’t realize there was a massive puddle. So I kind of jumped straight into the puddle and that was the beginning of my first class.
I remember we were learning cat-leaps and stuff like that. So cat-leaps, strides to cat-leap. So that was one of my first classes.”
Inspirations change a lot over time, but currently, Georgia’s inspirations are:
- ESPRIT CONCRETE: Biggest Inspiration to grow
“Over this year and a half, I’ve really progressed in a different way with them. I’ve learnt a lot more about the kind of roots about Art du deplacement, parkour, the whole movement and community in general. I’ve got to understand how the community works on a much deeper level and they’ve pushed me a lot to really learn the essence of it rather than just seeing the physical side of it. I’ve really got in touch with myself mentally and emotionally and really, really learnt a lot more about myself through learning about others as well. So they’re my biggest inspiration at the moment to really push myself and push myself to go out there and get what I want, what my goals are.”
- MATTHEW MCCREARY: Values that inspire
“If you know him, you know that he’s never around because he’s constantly travelling but for me, he kind of embodies the idea of movement being freedom. Of his whole lifestyle being about the freedom of movement. If you see how he moves, the main thing I get is that. You are one with everything, you just move. No matter what you put him on the floor, the stairs, he always finds a way to move, that doesn’t look like he’s struggling or resisting in any way, and his lifestyle is about that freedom as well. He just goes where he wants and he just travels and he meets different people and he doesn’t attach himself so much to everything but, there’s this very strong sense of this is who I am, and no matter where he goes he can show that. So he really embodies that kind of freedom side of movement.”
- KATIE MCDONNELL: Role Model
“I really look up to her for her work ethic. She’s a really, really hard worker. I’ve worked with her before and even when we’re just moving, like going from one place to the other she’s always working, and she always uses her spare time to promote herself, to get herself out there, to work. So I’d really like to develop that really strong drive, to be like every minute counts.”
- STORROR: Professional side & making it a career
“It’s more on the professional side and making it into a career. They really do this well, they do this amazingly well, and when I see their videos, they make it beautiful. Everything they do is beautiful, everything is done with this feeling, this raw power and they really work so well together as a team. Their group cohesiveness is great. They really, really complement each other and they push each other. The stuff they’ve done is amazing and I would also love to be able to do that stuff too. Get up there really high, doing really scary stuff but with this confidence and this self-belief in each other and themselves. And really, really just living it. Living and breathing that kind of raw emotion that movement gives you.”
Parkour has opened a “different career pathway” for Georgia, using herself, her body and her
capabilities. Before Parkour she was working towards a career in physics either as a mechanic or a physicist as she was “very much into the science world.”
However, naturally, she was drawn towards sports, and moving, as she really “loved to move and felt really good moving.”
Parkour has allowed her to take what she loves and make a career out of it. So for her, it became a lifestyle rather than a hobby which was different from all the other hobbies she had.
It has also allowed her to travel to so many different places and meet a lot of various people such as people from the stunt world, movies, and games. She said, “It’s quite intertwined with that because it compliments those things a lot. They’re looking for people who move, for people who are like the games really.”
It’s allowed her to use her assets and capabilities to live.
-LAST BUT NOT LEAST GEORGIA’S FAVOURITE EVENT-
Her favourite event to date (Start of August) was Les Dames Du Movement, which was Esprit Concrete’s first women’s event that they held last year. It is the first time, she felt the responsibility of being a coach responsible for giving people that learning or passing on how we learn or the way we process things.
She said, “It was really lovely as well to see how much support we got from the community because it was quite a fresh start for us. We had kind of just started out and we were really nervous to see how many people wanted to come. So it was really lovely to see how many women turned up from all over the place, from all over Europe and so on, just to come and learn from us. Share with us their experiences as well because we had a talk afterwards as well to understand where everyone came from, their process, their fears. It was really touching to be that close to people, to teach them our method, our way of learning and how they interacted with us. So yeah I’d say that was definitely one of my favourites.”
In the next part, we will cover, how the community has supported Georgia, mental and physical challenges she has faced her wakeup call and much more.
If you would like to find out more about Georgia and check out her stuff then click the links below:
Interviewee: Georgia Munroe
Interviewer: Elizabeth Hopkins
©World of Parkour 2018