Charles is the co-founder and co-owner of the Rochester Parkour Gym - the first Parkour training facility in New York State. He holds a degree in Exercise Science and Fine Art from RIT and has worked as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Parkour instructor for almost a decade.
But first, watch this fun video from Instructor Jonathan!
We are happy to report that our health inspection has been finalized with the Monroe County Health Department and we have been cleared to not only open, but open with a class based model! This is extremely positive news and was not expected!
There are still many changes to our operations that have been mandated to make this a reality so please read the following email carefully. To get the most asked question out of the way, we are targeting September 1st as our first official day back.
First, we have been asked to phase in our reopening of services. Nothing is set in stone on this timeline, but our current accepted plan is to start with our Adult services (ages 18+), followed by our Youth (ages 10-17), then Kids (ages 6-9), and finally our Tiny’s (ages 3-5).
Adult services will include:
Adult Level 1
Adult Level 2
Training Time (new)
Additionally, our policies have been updated in accordance with Department of Health guidelines. A summary of the main points is as follows:
All persons must wear a mask within our facility (vestibule, gym, lounge, and bathrooms included). Masks must be well fitting and should not require adjustments in order to fully cover your nose, mouth, and chin at all times
The gym will be limited to no more than 30 persons inside the facility at any time. This includes participants, staff, and vendors
Mandatory hand washing will be required prior to entering the gym & throughout your participation
Anyone entering the facility will be required to complete a covid screen. This screen must be filled out in advance of your arrival each day and is mandated by the Health Department. It can be found here: https://forms.gle/ikogRyS7gwwbJf9NA
All persons inside the facility from different households will be asked to comply with the social distancing parameters of 6ft separation at all times
Participants interacting in the movement space will be asked to wash their hands prior to and after use of equipment within movement zones
A full list of detailed policies can be found here: https://rochesterparkour.com/gym-policies/
Additionally, given the various hardships that many of these policies present with how we used to operate business, we’ve had to make some tough calls on how to orchestrate this roll out. With that said, until further notice, the following operating policies have been adopted:
Service participation is being limited to All Access Memberships or members who have not altered their payments
Open Gym services are not offered at this time. Instead, we are creating a new service that we’re calling “Training Time”. More information on how Training Time will function can be found further along in this email.
Class Package holders will be phased in asap, but we currently have no timeline available for this. Please stay tuned to our newsletter, blog, and social media for updates on this in the next coming weeks
Drop in passes, new class packages, and regular 5x Class Memberships will not be sold until further notice
We understand that these policies might cause dissatisfaction for some and, if that’s true for you, please know that we are doing everything and anything within our power to get back to where we were. Currently, we have no further information to share on how long we will be required to adhere to mandated policies nor how long we will be struggling with the financial consequences that they incur.
These are truly extraordinary times and we are doing everything within our power to ensure that the gym will survive. At least 5 Parkour Gyms across the nation closed for good during these shut downs and thousands more boutique fitness gyms as well. Our strong community is the only reason why we haven’t joined that list yet. You are all appreciated!
Phase 1 Reopening Details:
Based on the feedback provided by the many members who completed our survey, we have solidified the following schedule for phase 1 services:
6-6:45pm Adult Level 1 class
7-7:45pm Adult Level 2 class
8-8:45pm Mobility class
5-9pm Training Time
6-6:45pm Adult Level 1 class
7-7:45pm Movement Circuits class
8-8:45pm Mobility class
5-9pm Training Time
6-6:45pm Adult Level 2 class
7-7:45pm Strength class
8-8:45pm Mobility class
5-9pm Training Time
1-1:45pm Adult Level 1 class
2-2:45pm Strength class
3-3:45pm Mobility class
1-4pm Training Time
What is Training Time?
Given the complications that surround movement based indoor activities and social distancing requirements, we’ve created something like what Open Gym was, but with more structure. We want to bring Open Gym back as quickly as possible, but since we don’t have a time frame as to when that will be, we’re excited to introduce Training Time!
During Training Time hours, members may sign up for available spots in hour long brackets. Due to space restrictions, we are asking members to only sign up for a maximum of 2 back-to-back hour slots per day to ensure access to as many other members as possible.
The gym will be segmented into movement zones, each with their own borders, movement obstacles, and participant volumes. Zones will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Travel between zones will be overseen by the gym supervisor.
If desired, there will be recommended skills, drills, techniques, and challenges for each zone. Otherwise, movement within TT zones is self-directed.
We heard from many of you that you’re still not prepared to come back to the gym yet. We absolutely respect that decision and, in an attempt to keep you included as a part of the community, we have created a new offering to get you access to the education that we provide without having to physically be present in our space.
We have a new feature of our website: https://live.rochesterparkour.com.
This new software has been integrated to allow us to offer you the ability to virtually join a class and get the exact same knowledge that is presented in person! Only certain classes will have this option, but this software has many great features such as:
It’s integrated into our website (no phishy sites or external services need to be remembered)
No accounts are needed – all you’ll need is the room name and the password (provided by us)
Privacy built in – No webcam or mic is required. You don’t even need to type anything in chat! No emails are required… it’s so simple!
Recordings for future use – each class will be recorded and accessible through the cloud with a password for a short period of time after the class.
Live Classes can be enrolled for by anyone with an active membership. Pay-per-class registration is available to all others for $5/class. We anticipate a few bumps in the road as we work to roll out these virtual classes. More information on this offering will be outlined in a future email/blog post. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Our Phase 1 schedule is currently live on the website now and anyone with an applicable membership can begin enrolling into them. More information on Phase 2 Youth Services will be released soon.
It’s been quite the journey working through this and dealing with so many different government agencies, all the changing guidelines, and all the confusion and contradictions. The struggle is far from over, but it’s nice to finally be able to send out some news that actually includes real actions.
Just like in Parkour, complex movements are trained by breaking them down into simple mechanics and then slowly and methodically meshing them together. We’ll get back to where the gym was pre-COVID, but we have to train the mechanics again to get there.
Always remember, great things come from overcoming struggle. No one gets commended for doing something that’s easy. The path ahead is the most complex movement line we’ve ever come upon – but you gotta know how great it will feel to finally work it all together and nail it!
Because of you, we’re still fighting. Let’s find that greatness together.
By charles|2020-08-27T18:15:14-04:00August 27th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Official Reopening Date!
Dear members, We’ve received a lot of inquiries on our reopening schedule as well as a lot of congratulations and well wishes. Your support means the world to us! However, after further discussions with State and local departments, we do want to update that our August 1st reopen date is getting pushed. Basically, given our unique business identity and the services we offer, it’s proving to be a challenge to properly classify our business. Our current business classification is not permitted to open. We are working with the authorities to finalize a plan that would allow us to reopen under a different classification that is allowed to open. Those details are not yet finalized. There are a couple important deadlines that are going to be occurring soon that may result in further official guidance. One of those deadlines is Gov. Cuomo’s decision on a return to school. That decision is slated to occur on or before Aug 7th. As is, no update has been provided on when or how Fitness gyms will be re-opened. Many of you have also reached out with ideas or thoughts that might help us. Don’t stop doing that! We love hearing from you! However, one of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received regards outdoor training. To answer that question here: Fitness activities like yoga and basic group fitness (e.g. Pilates) have been cleared to operate outdoors. Unfortunately, this is not an option that we can accommodate at this time. Certain parks in Monroe County have been made available for outdoor classes, but permits are required to reserve those parks. A permit requires the proper insurance coverage and our insurance policy is specifically set to cover instruction within our facility. Going elsewhere requires additional insurance coverage which is prohibitively expensive for us. Parkour insurance is unfortunately not as streamlined or cheap as yoga or personal training insurance is. We don’t want to give you this information and not give any further deadline. That’s basically what NYS is doing to us and it isn’t very enjoyable. So instead, we’re going to say that we’ll be checking back in on August 10th, unless magic happens and we’re able to coordinate with the State to properly and legally re-classify ourselves by adjusting our service offerings accordingly with their approval. Finally, I know it’s hard to hear this over and over, but we wouldn’t be here without the ongoing support of you and all our members. There’s really no other way to say this, even if we were to reopen today, the gym is looking at no less than 3-4 months of operating losses. Our fight is far from over. If you value the service, the community, and the education that we provide and you want to ensure that it will be here when our world is less threatening, please consider enrolling for a membership. The monthly support goes a long way to helping us pay our rent, utilities, payroll, debts, and all other recurring expenses. Even a monthly Open Gym Membership goes a long way to helping us meet these financial stresses. Of course, you can also send direct donations to us through our PayPal. Additionally, if you want to stay more connected with us and others in the community as we await our re-opening, we created an online forum for us to chat, share stories and updates, oh… and memes…. Lots of memes 😛 You can join by clicking the above link. Thanks for being with us through all this. We can’t wait to see you and the family in the gym again soon! -RocPK
By charles|2020-08-11T15:53:19-04:00July 29th, 2020|Featured, News|Comments Off on RocPK Reopening Update
This is such an emotional roller coaster… We went from tears of sadness, despair, and loss to tears of joy, gratitude, and humility. So many of you have already come out to pledge to keep your membership active. I’m not sure words can properly express just how grateful we are to you…
This blog post is going to address a few questions we’ve had recently from students and families who are not on a monthly membership plan. Class packages make up nearly half of our revenue stream and that income only happens if there is a class to “go to”. At first we didn’t know what options would be the best for this, but we put our brain storming caps on and have some alternative avenues of support.
Class Packages only result in income when they get used for a class or service on our Zen Planner page. For those of you who wish to keep things the same by using class packages, we have a simple solution to help you support the gym during this trying time:
Sign up for class as if nothing changed…
I know. It sounds ridiculous, but it is honestly the easiest way to continue your support of the gym as a Class Pack holder and to ensure that there will still be a parkour gym to come back to when this is all over. Your reservation in a class service will help ensure a steadier stream of Class Package revenue once the gym does get the all clear and goes active again. As is, if nothing were to change, most of our Class Pack holders would not be looking at re-upping their packages until late August or early September (depending on when we’re allowed to open our doors again).
At this time, we’ve decided to keep our class schedule unchanged. Obviously, you won’t be able to come to participate in the class, but if you use the mental exercise of enrolling for and “paying” for a class as motivation to then block out time that day specifically for playful movement, you’ve not only helped keep yourself or your child active during this shut-down, you’ve also helped support the gym.
By all means, if you want an easier way to support the gym, membership will continue to be the most effective while also being the best value you’ll (eventually) receive for services at the gym. Memberships make all the accounting for our expenses so much easier.
Alternatively, we’ve also decided to bring back the 3-Class Pack option. This is a digital punch card that you can buy now to help us keep our lease, while also being a lower price point for those of you who are in the thick of it like we are right now.
Merch is still a viable option as well! Merchandise links are down below as well.
Thanks for all your help and support. We appreciate you!
It is with deep emotion that we write today to inform you that, given Gov. Cuomo’s most recent ordinance for gyms, we will be closing our doors today, indefinitely.
This crisis will likely be one of the most challenging situations we will all overcome over the following days, weeks, and months, as businesses close, work diminishes, and expenses continue.
It is important to remember in moments like this that we are defined by how we respond in the face of adversity and struggle. We hope to remain as a positive outlet that inspires you all to stand up and face these challenges head on.
In light of this, we’d also like to remind everyone that the small businesses that surround our local communities are run by people – they are not faceless. You’ve run into them downtown, at the public market, at the festivals, or shows that we all attend. While our businesses are being forced to close, business expenses do not. Rent, insurance, utilities, and debts must still be paid in order to stay a business.
In turn, the staff we employ are also people within our community. As such, they will still need to pay their rent, utility, and grocery bills, just like we all will, but without the ability to work inside the gym they’ve come to call home.
We are pleading to any and all members who can afford to maintain their membership, to please do so. Any amount, no matter how small, goes a long way to ensure that when we emerge from this crisis, the gym will be there ready and willing to host the services that enrich the lives of our community. Any and all assistance is appreciated.
Additionally, as a personal note, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that your personal health and well being are the most valuable possessions you will ever have. The easy path right now is to confine you and your family members into your home and do nothing. I want to remind everyone that despite our “socially acceptable” movement outlets being closed, there are still things you can do to maintain (or start!) your healthy lifestyle habits.
Movement spaces are closed. Movement is not. Movement is forever.
Now is the time to figure out how to use the environment around you to stay active and to keep the playful spirit alive. If you or anyone else needs help figuring out how to remain active or how to safely and appropriately use the environment around you for these means, please reach out to us through email.
As I said in the closing of Saturday’s update, “social distancing” means “physical” distancing. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the explosion of the internet, it’s that physical distance is no longer a requirement to be a part of a community. We are already laying the groundwork to create opportunities for us as a community to come together and continue our love of movement.
Today we published a new page on the website. You can find it in the menu navigation titled “Live”.
With that in mind, let’s take a moment to focus back on one of the core values of Parkour:
“Etre et durer.” To be, and to last.
Parkour is a tool that we’ve found to train our bodies to be the best possible versions of ourselves, physically and mentally. We train to become adaptable people.
Today, let’s make a move to deflect the negativity of the uncertainty that surrounds us and choose to adapt. Let’s find ways to do what we’ve always done inside the gym – to look around us and see opportunity, rather than obstruction.
Today, our gym (temporarily) ceases to be a gym, and instead, has become the largest and most interesting production studio we’ve ever known! I hope that you’ll join our community as we work to empower each other to continue being the best possible versions of ourselves that we can be.
Today, many of our adult members were prepared to gather inside the gym for Movement Circuits class at 6pm. Let’s still meet at 6pm, but digitally, and discuss the thoughts and ideas you all have as to how to continue our lives as movers through this trying time.
I hope you’ll join us as we embrace this challenge head on.
Charles, Nicole, and the RocPK Family
By charles|2020-03-16T15:04:30-04:00March 16th, 2020|News|Comments Off on RocPK is Closed, Movement is Not
This move is going to put a huge strain on all of us Rochesterians as we figure out how to navigate the rest of our work, home, and hobby/activity lives.
Officially, Rochester Parkour is in agreement with these decisions and these moves. Limiting physical exposure in high-traffic environments is a responsible choice to help limit the strain on our local healthcare system.
With that said, at this time, we feel like we’re in an interesting middle ground within the service industry. Despite all of our recent growth over this last year, given our class schedule, the gym still only sees 40 visits on average per day. At any point in time, there are fewer than 30 people in the gym.
Yesterday, we updated everyone on our cleaning procedures. At this time, we are choosing to remain open and to continue being the positive outlet that we are for our families. In addition to the guidelines and requests that we outlined in yesterday’s update, we are also choosing to take a more aggressive stance on ‘in-class’ hygiene. Objects and bars are getting disinfected before and after classes. Coughing, sneezing, (let’s be honest, with kids) nose picking, thumb sucking, or any other form of personal interaction that is known to escalate the risk of viral transmissions will result in our instructors asking the student to take a quick hand washing break. We are asking that parents of kids stay during class to ensure that proper hygiene protocols are being met.
Additionally, given the challenges outlined in this post, RocPK is hereby temporarily suspending our 24 hour cancellation policy. Should you decide for any reason that you or your family should not attend gym services, please let us know through text, phone, or email and one of our staff members will work with you to reschedule your visit for a later time.
Given how quickly and rapidly the situation is evolving and changing, this decision is not final and we will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis. Should the situation in our county escalate or we decide to temporarily suspend or cancel services, we will let everyone know with as much lead time as possible through our blog here, newsletter, and our various social media outlets.
In conclusion, it’s important during stressful times like this to remember that we are all in this together. The term being used right now is “social distancing”, but what they mean by that is “physical” distancing. More than ever, it’s important for us to remember to use our thoughts, voices, and actions in ways that help alleviate the stress of those around us, rather than add to the seemingly endless pile of negativity.
Thank you for being the awesome people that you are. We’ll get through this together.
Charlie, Nicole, and all RocPK Staff
By charles|2020-03-14T18:13:17-04:00March 14th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Monroe County Schools are Closed – RocPK is Open, for Now…
As a business operating within the service industry, we take the health and safety of our environment seriously. We’ve always operated in a manner that strives to maintain a clean gym space for all participants.
With that in mind, in conjunction with the current pre-cautionary measures being advised by our CDC, we’ve even further stepped up our cleaning procedures. Our gym floor continues to get mopped twice a day during opening and closing. Our surface cleaning schedule of twice per day (with the virucidal cleaner we’ve used for years) is being bumped to several times throughout the day. We’ve initiated a more aggressive schedule for cleaning our bars using the same virucidal cleaner. Our door handle cleaning is being bumped as well to several times per day.
The gym is our sanctuary. It’s our amazing communal space where many diverse groups of people come together with a shared love of movement and their quest for a more holistic sense of well being. Being a communal space, we’re calling on our community to help do their part to ensure that the gym remains the sanctuary we strive for it to be. Below is a list of simple recommendations that everyone within the gym can follow to help maintain the atmosphere:
Please be mindful of the surfaces you touch while in the lounge and in the movement space. Do your best to follow the CDC’s guidelines of minimizing personal contact with others and the touching of your face, eyes, nose, ears or mouth and then touching other surfaces.
Hand sanitizer is located in the gym, but please note, the best and most effective form of cleaning your hands will always be washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Parents, please follow your children into the bathrooms to ensure that they are correctly washing their hands.
All persons in the gym should attempt to wash their hands before and after class (during?) and in between services for those staying for Open Gym or multiple classes.
If one family member is sick with the cold or flu, you are likely to be a carrier even if you’re not yet showing symptoms.
Thank you for standing together to help keep our community healthy as we all work to survive this financially and emotionally stressful time.
By charles|2020-03-12T16:22:12-04:00March 12th, 2020|News|Comments Off on RocPK’s Strategy in Dealing with COVID-19
CLASS SCHEDULE UPDATE – Monday Time Trials class is being moved 1hr EARLIER. Its new time is Monday 7pm-8pm.
Fun things on the curriculum this week:
Tonight’s Level 2 Time Trials is slaloms in the front bar cage and west quad using the City, Tower, and some of the Tunnel. Looks like there will a ton of level changes.
Tuesday’s Acro is Backflips!
Wednesday’s Movement Circuits class is Level Changes which is one of my favorite class prompts.
Thursday’s Level 2 is Climb Ups, but specifically will focus on climb ups after jump to cats.
Saturday’s Level 2 is focusing on Reverse Vaults!
Sunday’s Strength is a Max Rep day. If you’ve never done one this is a great opportunity to get some hard numbers to see where you’re at and mark progress. If you have done this before, now is a great time to track progress since the last time.
We have some new bars that we used for a pop up playground this last weekend at Brighton High School. Excited to get them out in the movement space. hopefully by the end of this week!