Midwest Mannered: Our Coach from the Country

If you’ve visited Freedom in Motion recently, you might have met Coach Lucas.

For those that don’t know, Lucas grew up out in Missouri in beautiful Small Town America. Lucas started his training when he was 13 in his hometown of Rockville.

Rockville, Missouri.

With a population of only 166, one could imagine that parkour would be a difficult sport to learn.

“Of course there weren’t many spots to play around at. The primary places I would go to were the local park, the post office handicap rails, and a wall that was connected to an abandoned bar. Through this dilemma I had to become creative with the environment around me. I wanted to become the best parkour athlete I could possibly be. Thou my options were limited, my passion was not.”

Coach Lucas Harralson
Lucas in the country

Many of those who discover parkour, don’t know how to begin their training. This is why coaches and gyms are extrementally helpful in progressing as an athlete. Although, whenever there are no
gyms or coaches around training can be intimidating.

Here are a few pointers from Coach Lucas!

Picnic Tables

Most recreational parks have picnic tables present. These serve as great obstacles to practice box jumping and vaulting. In the clip below, Lucas displays a box jump onto the top of the table. Remembering to keep the heels off the edge to practice proper technique.

Picnic table flow

Pull-Up/Monkey Bars

With a lack of training spots, one must make due with the environment
around them. Pull-up bars and monkey bars can be used to practice laches.

Training on bars

Gauging distance is important for steady progression at a consistent rate as shown.

Oak Trees

These beauties of nature have strong, rough bark. This makes them perfect for. Practicing wall runs and wall tricks. Finding trees that grow at a slanted angle makes training wall- oriented movement that much easier.

Training with trees

Natural parkour (A to B) is usually perceived as the primary focus in building ones foundational movement. Freerunning, being the expression of one’s movement, is another challenging task when it comes to rural training. So the question remains “How do I begin practicing style and flips without a gym?” The answer is “With your own creativity,” this is where things get personal. We’re going to take a quick look into the training of world renowned freerunner Pavel “Pasha” Petkuns. In a Podcast Jason Paul mentioned that in Pasha’s home town, the primary training equipment he used was “a pull up bar and a tire!” Pasha has gone to win the Red Bull Art of Motion, which is already an impressive feat, not to mention countless projects with Red Bull and multiple 1st place awards at other known competitions within the community.

Below is a step by step process on how to 360 Grab a bar from standing. Personal insight into one’s potential in necessary for progress. In short terms from coach “Don’t let you hold yourself back!”

360 Part 1
360 Part 2
360 Part 3

“I went to the park to play around for a while, when I was approached by a familiar face. This is a guy I had gone to high school with, he was at the park to just hang out and get some fresh air. When we spotted each other we broke into conversation and began to catch up on times missed. Later in the conversation he asked me to help him out with his wall-spin, and I agreed. While I was trying to help him, he kept looking around to see if anybody was watching him. He said, ‘I get nervous when people look at me. Like, they’re going to judge me if I mess up. “I understand” I responded, but you know that this is a learned skill and you have to practice to get better. Everybody messes up, it’s just a matter of when and how. If you practice ukemi you learn to fall safely, and progress, whether fast or slow, is still progress! I knew that to get better I had to go outside and put in the effort, of course I was nervous while training as well. Nobody wants to mess up and embarrass themselves and look like they don’t know what they’re doing. The limitations are all in your own head though, and I realized that after almost a years and a half into my training. You create your own opportunities, take care of your body and it will do the same to you.

Coach Lucas Harralson

These are concepts no coach can teach, but that an athlete can perceive and comprehend.

Mistake No.1
Mistake No.2

Lucas had already been training for seven years before becoming a coach at Freedom in Motion. Before then a large majority of time was spent taking skills outside consistently. With that in mind, here are some underrated training spots commonly found in rural areas:

The Bench

The most obvious one is the first on the list, a park bench. This common park item can be used for learning beginning, intermediate, and advanced vault training if you’re creative enough. Also this obstacle is perfect for practicing flipping from different heights.

one handsome bench

Cattle Guards

Used to guide cattle around, this obstacle is perfect of climbing challenges. Cat leaps, gate vaults, and devil drops are just a few of the many options of movement opportunities this simple piece of farming equipment offers.

Cattle guards

Concrete Foundation

Definitely the weakest spot on this list. Limited resources are a struggle when it comes to training. However, this obstacle could very well help your ariel turn into an a- twist.

An empty concrete foundational slab

Empty Propane Tanks

Warning, this is the most dangerous obstacle on the list! It seems like a risky move to jump off of a propane tanks. Propane is a flammable gas, so you don’t want to sneak behind a restaurant and go for a wall dub. However, when these have been abandoned and empty for years, they do offer countless opportunities. Just look at it.

An empty propane tank

“Don’t let your circumstances prohibit your passions. Create opportunities and do the research. You’re limitations exist only in your head, and you can’t let that keep you from blossoming. Your will is more
powerful than you may think.”

Coach Lucas Harralson

For additional help on personal training, Freedom in Motion has a tutorial on how to build precision trainers!

Nick Blake’s precision trainier tutorial

Another opportunity in parkour is the rise in parkour gyms. Freedom in Motion offers guided sessions with experienced athletes that specialize in parkour and other expressive movement dynamics. For more information how you or a friend located around the Murrieta, California area could experience one of these sessions visit


For information as to how you can own your own Freedom in Motion Gym visit


Leave a Reply