When Tom from Norwich contacted us, what impressed us most, other than being the first person to email us in five years, was his honesty and humility. “I’ve never found myself to be any good at parkour,” he told us, “but that’s never stopped me.” In a freerunning world of ego twattery and gangsta snapbackery, this was refreshing.
There’s no need to be an elite climber to get our approval (our approval is worth diddly shit anyway.) The world of buildering is so small, even if you’re rubbish, you’re still like 6th best in the world or something. Way to go! So few people have the vision, balls, or creativity to builder that anyone doing anything is worthy of a shout.
Which is not to dismiss any of Tom’s ascents. His highballs gained even more kudos when we dug a little deeper, commenting that he looked a touch twitchy as he approached the top of the vid’s second climb. Tom explained:
“About half way up I realized the bricks weren’t sticking out: they were stuck on. Just, like a centimeter of brick glued to the side of the building. From that point on I was testing each hold slightly before I put my full weight on it. I started to get pretty scared. The fear made me want to shrink – bring my feet higher like a crawling position – but I knew that was a bad idea, so I slowed, focusing on keeping technique solid whilst testing each hold. I’d been climbing around 9 months when I filmed the video, now about a year. I’ve found my progression to be a lot faster than it was with parkour, so hopefully that’ll continue.”
Tom deliberately picks out climbs where he won’t cause too much of a fuss, demonstrating an admirable level of respect for people’s houses. And the Norwich community’s attitude towards security guards is something we share: be nice, as it might well pay dividends in the long run. Having spent ten years training in the city, Tom and his fellow practitioners have built up some good relationships. “Most security will still kick us off, but they’ll tell us what time we can come back.”