Ryan Ford on Parkour, Injury Prevention, Entrepreneurship, & Being Prepared for Anything

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“[Parkour] is more of a lifestyle philosophy… You're overcoming obstacles physically, but you're teaching yourself to face your fears, be creative, solve problems… it's about overcoming obstacles both literally and figuratively. ”
— Ryan Parkour

Our guest this week is Ryan Ford, an internationally-recognized expert and coach in a lesser-known and fascinating sport called “parkour.” If you have never seen a video of Parkour (see below), it’s a sport where people in urban environments climb, jump, flip, twist, and generally maneuver through their environment like Batman or Spiderman. Besides performing world-wide for dozens of respected organizations and competitions, Ryan is also an accomplished entrepreneur, with a network of his own gyms and online businesses. His success – and superhuman feats – have lead to media attention from such media giants as the New Yorker, TIME, and ESPN.

Whether or not you have a burning desire to jump off of rooftops, this interview will offer you a lot of awesome takeaways, ranging from fitness advice, tips on how to avoid injuries, ideas on how to turn your passion into an entrepreneurial career, and a better understanding of how one should approach obstacles – both physical and mental. I know you're going to enjoy it!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Ryan's bio, what he's done, and his journey towards becoming a professional Parkour specialist
  • What is “Parkour,” where does it come from, and why should you care?
  • What Parkour is about today, and why might someone practice it?
  • Why Ryan believes that everybody has tries Parkour, and everyone should pick it back up again
  • How to safely start experimenting with Parkour at home
  • Where can you safely practice Parkour, and how does law enforcement feel about it?
  • Is Parkour a standalone exercise regimen, or should it be paired with other forms of training?
  • Practical tips anyone can use to avoid injuries
  • What kind of mobility work does Ryan advocate?
  • What is the single most important movement the human body should be able to do?
  • Ryan's journey from professional athlete to successful entrepreneur
  • How Ryan built his businesses
  • Why Ryan chose to finish his college degree despite his entrepreneurial success
  • How many women are doing Parkour?
  • Ryan's views on CrossFit
  • Two of Ryan's favorite books, and why he loves them
“Parkour literally requires no equipment. It requires no playing field. All you really need is your own body.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

As promised, here is a great video featuring Ryan and some of his team members:


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