Downwind

by Bob Rohrer

Hey James Bond fans… Do you remember the opening scene of the 2006 movie Casino Royale (with Daniel Craig as 007)? Bond chases a man through a construction zone /building in Madagascar.  (Nothing unusual about Bond chasing a guy in a movie)  However this chase scene is more unusual…the man who Bond is chasing is an expert Parkour-ist with wonderful agility and speed. Amazing!

Parkour is the sport of running, jumping, climbing, balancing, flipping and rolling rapidly, usually through an urban environment.  When you see someone with extreme parkour skills, like the man that Bond was chasing, it seems as if the person glides and flies through areas that a normal person would have trouble walking and climbing through (like a lead footed Bob Rohrer for example).  People with this ability to Parkour seem to be able to defy gravity. How do they do that?

Parkour requires extraordinary skill and the trade-off is seemingly broken bones, a smashed face, and serious injury just one “misstep” away.  After seeing the scene from Casino Royale, I’ve been more aware of the sport and have recently seen a few contestants on American Ninja Warrior with the skill.

Cityscapes traditionally provide a natural course for Parkour…buildings, walls, man-made hurdles, roofs, fences, steps, ridiculous angles, railings and other impediments. However, with most things, I envision parkour with a farm spin.

Parkour reminds me of the wild barn cats that roamed the farmstead when I was growing up. These wild cats were extremely anti-humans and human touch.  They would do nearly anything to avoid a petting from kids (including scratching, biting, and tearing up my brother’s arms).  Those cats could traverse obstacles…over, under, around, and through with stunning speed and agility.  Only now do I realize they were Parkour cats.

Of course, YouTube offers all kinds of videos from parkour amateurs that have varying levels of skill.  Curious, I searched for parkour on the farm and was disappointed that all I found were videos of teens and preteens that emphasized a lot of running around but not much parkour skill.

I envision a human (not a cat) parkour-ist bouncing off tractors and farm implements, running up the side of grain bins and silos, gliding across the roof of the red barn and corn crib, flipping over and sliding under docile cows and drowsy horses, leaping barbed wire fences, flipping off of heights onto hay bales, running up the straw bale elevator and scampering atop the wood rail fence. Just like those wild cats did in my memory.

In fact, this could be the making of a new reality TV show called “Agri - Ninja Warrior” - freestyle …

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We are quickly approaching the 1st Annual Farming for our Future Gala! (Saturday, March 4th, 2017 at Ruffled Feathers in Lemont)  It’s a good thing it is not a Wedding…I might be considered Bridezilla!

This will be a great event! It will feature great food, beverages, outstanding music, friends and huge fun… Call it “Date Night for a Cause”!  And what is the Cause? With your support, the Foundation will be able to:

• Teach Ag Literacy to help urban kids and their parents understand how and who provides the food, clothing, bio-fuels, and other farm based essentials for their family.

 • Provide scholarships to help area college-bound youth who want to improve farming and food through an agriculturally related career.  (Farmer, dietian, veterinarian, food science, etc.)

 • Provide hands-on, farm & food based educational events for urban teachers, schools, and families from Chicago and suburban Cook County

I did heard from one member that she has a new fancy dress so she is going so she can wear it again! If you want to show off your new dress, crazy tie or dancing shoes, what a great reason to support a great cause!  See you there.