A street runner from Haywards Heath uses ‘the world as her playground’ as she trains all ages and abilities the art of parkour.
Fizz Top, 29, free runner and stunt woman, is a qualified instructor who urges everyone to get involved in the fast growing new sport.
“It’s a really good way to get fit and healthy outside in the fresh air,” she said.
“It’s free, anyone can do it, any age, sex and ability, it doesn’t matter.”
Beginners can expect a tough warm up before being taught basic techniques such as jumping, grips and vaulting.
Fizz continued: “It’s unlike competitive sports with people in teams, winning and losing, it’s non competitive, it’s just what you can do and for personal achievement.
“It’s cheesy and clichéd but the world is my playground,” she added.
The trainee stunt woman is learning taekwondo whilst she trains in London, Brighton and Haywards Heath,
Modest in her ability, Fizz is keen to promote parkour as the true sport it is.
“Sometimes I don’t like to do it in public,” she said.
“People don’t understand, they see young teenage guys doing it and they think they’re causing trouble, it’s a common misconception.”
But free running can involve a wide range of ages, abilities and personalities.
Fizz explained: “I’m going to parkour dance in London to teach over 60s, the level they can do isn’t that high but I love teaching it.
“They’re just walking on curbs but if they don’t get out and exercise all week it’s great for them.”
And parkour is also suitable for children.
“The kids love it,” Fizz added.
“My nephew has started doing it recently, they can end up doing the same as a lot of adults, they have less fear so they just go for things.”
She upholds the sport’s keen interest in safety, as although much of the adrenaline and enjoyment comes with the risks involved in ‘breaking’ a jump, there are always precautions taken.
“I always start on a small wall close to the ground to judge peoples ability before I encourage them to take on more challenging jumps,” Fizz said.
“After a weekend of training and being nervous my adrenaline levels are so high as it’s a lot of responsibilty to take on.”
Fizz described her parkour qualification as ‘a tough week’.
As the only female on the course in which she was being constantly watched, assessed and scrutinised, she found it ‘gruelling physically and mentally’.
“You had to find a jump that you found scary and conquer it,” she said.
“The others seemed to bounce off each other a lot more.
“I think I was more emotional than the others because when I made a jump I wanted to jump around and scream but I was being assessed so I couldn’t.”
The free runner said she likes the improvisation and artistic licence parkour allows for as ‘it’s not specific or precise, you just have to get from a to b’.
Fizz has featured in TV adverts, one of which she was shot jumping out of a balcony.
She described the experience: “They said they’d get me a crashmat, I said I don’t need one, I’m not planning on falling down there!”
The parkour enthusiast added she is ‘very fortunate’ to have taught in America, Australia, Denmark and Sweden.
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