TraceHer – find out what moves the women of Parkour
Name Maria Raptaki
Age Almost 30
Profession Actress – Parkour Performer – Filmmaker
I started moving when… I was 22 years old. Almost every morning before I go to work I used to watch the news on the television. One morning the TV show was displaying a parkour video, featuring the first organised greek parkour team, the NSA. I still remember that feeling overflowing all over me with massive energy and enthusiasm. I started talking about it with some friends, but no one was into joining me into this new movement. So, I managed to contact the NSA team and started training with them.
My training routine is… different every year, every month, and sometimes every week. I am not a routine-type of a person so I enjoy getting involved in different movement styles in time, though parkour has won most of my devotion within the past 29 years of my life. For this reason, I manage to reconcile my mind and body when the training starts to feel like a routine, in order to stay both instinctive but progressive too, by adding new styles and knowledge into my movement. Everything depends on how I feel every time and what my self is asking for. If I want to keep up with a training routine in order to stay fit and well, then I choose to offer myself some tiny routines. I push myself hard when I enjoy it; I relax and take it easy when the pushing seems to become a ‘routine’. For me, as long as you balance your mind and body with precision, then the discipline is a natural result coming from a healthy living being wanting to be partly controlled. So many times the first day back to training after a break is baaamm, much better and more explosive than the past months of regular training.. I guess it’s because it needs some time off for all this knowledge to be absorbed and processed by the performer. And does it have to be a struggle and ‘suffering’ in order to be disciplined? I personally believe that when it feels nice then it’s the right. We are not Ninjas, Amazones nor warrior princesses and so it doesn’t have to be a struggle to win a war or a battle like it used to be in the past… Sure thing is ” When you are scared to jump, that’s when you jump. Otherwise, you’ll be in the same spot you’ve always been in”. I think there are people who reflex and people who freeze. Whatever discipline you might want to have is tested right then in real time, no matter how hard you trained before, how much you struggled to progress or not and how disciplined you thought you were. In the end, in my opinion, it’s not the discipline ‘speaking’ and ‘working’, but your instincts. And how much are we working with our instincts, or have we forgotten about them? The instincts cannot be tamed, but they can be heard and they can be partly disciplined at times if you let yourself hear them; hopefully those times will be important, playful, quiet and open to the energy.
My favourite place to train is… a quiet and peaceful spot, either natural or urban. Same here, I enjoy changing locations-spots often and I prefer the silence than the noisy, crowded places.
I would say I’m good at… flow.
I would say I’m bad at… learning techniques.
On bad days… I might just want to exist or I will be working on my stretching.
In another life I’d have been… a wildlife biologist.
I eat… homemade food, but lots of desserts too.
You won’t believe this but… sometimes I still sleep with my teddy.
I’m still working on… focusing on one thing at a time.
In ten years… who knows where I will be. And if I will be still sleeping with my teddy.