Adam Smaruj (27) says he does parkour for mental, physical and personal growth. Parkour means the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping and climbing. In a nutshell, Smaruj is jumping on things like buildings and concretes.
Although he experienced two broken ribs not so long ago, Smaruj has been doing parkour for 10 years and says it has benefits attached to it. “It has helped me around in life. Through parkour, I have learned to calm my mind. It grounds me as well. Some people do drugs, others do alcohol and I do parkour. After a stressful day, you can go to town for two hours or even 45 minutes and it’s just you and the concrete,” stated Smaruj.
“In schools, you find students that are somehow forced to do sports. My parents put me on the soccer team; I was agile as a soccer player but I couldn’t control the ball. I would have it but couldn’t have it for a longer period. I tried hockey for a little bit, but it wasn’t for me – I was not just comfortable,” said Smaruj.
He said he figured it’s an insane idea to try it out but realised at one point that those doing it also didn’t have a clue about it initially and how they got better at it. “I went out and started jumping over trashcans and walls – it was super clumsy at first; that’s how I got into it,” he explained.
On the risk associated with parkour, Smaruj said with constant practising, the risks can be minimised. “People get in accidents everyday – life is risky, but that doesn’t stop us from doing the things we want to do. Through practice and training, we can negate the risks,” stated Smaruj.
His parents were not fond of the idea. “I would tell them I am going to town and they probably thought I’m going to the gym or something but little did they know I was going for parkour training. Later on, I showed them videos and explained how it all works and they even bought me tickets to go and train with some guys in Cape Town,” he narrated.
Smaruj has so far trained about 50 young Namibians who have established a keen interest in parkour, which makes sense because they see it everywhere in inserts such as movies, games and many other platforms.
“I have the certification from Parkour Generations in London to coach and I wanted to grow the community here, in Namibia, through parkour, I did coaching for three years until I had to stop due to insufficient equipment and support but I will admit there is a big market share, as there was a time I was coaching 50 kids and dividing time to fully cater to them,” revealed Smaruj.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Smaruj moved to Namibia with his parents at the age of two and soon after that, he ventured into other artistic bits such photography, commercial filmmaking and further tapping into the tech industry, specialising in making internet ads while also being a certified IT professional.