23 November 2009


I've been training with a group of people who do parkour in downtown Abu Dhabi.  I'm probably the worst jumper they've ever seen, but it's still the highlight of my week to show up and sweat through their grueling conditioning routines.

I'm astounded how great I feel during and after exercise.  It was a tough week.  My time log says that I spent an average of 12 hours working every day.  On Friday, I drag myself to parkour, and after a few sets of push ups, suddenly the whole world is beautiful.  I notice the sky.  For the first time I see the birds soaring around the skyscrapers.  All my insides are smiling.  Yay, endorphins.

After parkour, we walked to the skate park (I knew there was a skate park somewhere Abu Dhabi, I just didn't know that it was that close.)  There was a competition going on -- skate boarding, roller blades, and bmx bikes.  Two things happened that were very interesting.

1) There was only one girl in the competition.  She was on roller blades and she was AWESOME.  She would fly up these high ramps, flip through the air and land on the other side, or she would float, dive into a hand stand, pose, then continue skating.  As a girl who is frustrated by her lack of innate ability to jump, it was really inspiring.

2) The skate park was full of teenagers, and fights kept breaking out in the audience.  Whoa.  It was really out-of-place.  Never seen anything like it in Abu Dhabi.  They keep stopping the competition to break up the fights. They called in the police, who arrived right when I was leaving.  Somehow the fights made Abu Dhabi seem more real.  It's not just a giant bubble of sterile skyscrapers and malls.  It has angsty teenage kids who get into fights.  One of the many parts of Abu Dhabi I know nothing about.

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