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Chappy Compiles with Boone Gutierrez

Writer’s Note: Welcome to the first ever installment of Chappy Compiles! The shameless rehashing of Giles Compiles, which I consider the gold standard for bolstering new athletes in parkour. Unlike the original Giles Compiles, I will be maintaining this project on a consistent basis (sorry Giles). I am going to be using this space to feature an up-and-coming athlete on a monthly basis, and give them a platform to share their parkour experience with the community. Our first submission is Boone Gutierrez. Forewarning, I did coach Boone when he started his parkour journey. But this is simply how I came to be aware of his talent, and he’s since pushed himself to achieve feats of athleticism that deserve recognition on their own, and I’m glad to do so. Now, on to the interview.

Boone Gutierrez (on Instagram as @boone_guti) is a young athlete from Eugene, Oregon. Boone makes great use of the often meager obstacles at his disposal with powerful, off-axis flipping and a discerning eye for style and flow. He sat down with me for our first face-to-face conversation in years; we discussed his feature in a Motus video, his aspirations in the sport, and much more. After greetings and catching up via video-chat, the interview was underway.

Me: Were you involved in any sports prior to parkour?

Boone: Yes, I was involved in other sports, and I was involved in A LOT. I basically tried absolutely everything I could. I mean I liked a lot of them, but also not. I couldn’t see them taking up much of my headspace. I eventually found this sport, and in its main ideals it isn’t really a “team” sport, it’s just something you do at your own pace. Competitions are hard. I don’t like comparing myself to others, and in this sport I have the freedom I want. I can just be, and do what I want. I think, for me, having fun is the way to go.

Me: There are many sports that can be a creative outlet, what makes this sport different from say, skateboarding or breakdancing for you?

Boone: Well, honestly, I think I just found parkour and flipping first. Everything else seemed, not impossible by any means, I just saw flipping and thought, “This is awesome, this seems more applicable, and I can become stronger.” When I actually look back on the past, it really seems like parkour just came first. 

Me: I know the answer to this, but for those who don’t: have you received any other dedicated coaching for parkour?

Boone: Well, you definitely fostered the passion, with the technical tips and parkour culture, the early exposure to The Motus Projects and stuff. It stuck in my head so well, even if it wasn’t a long time. After you I trained with Dominick Hughes, but that wasn’t that long either.

Me: Well thank you man, that’s hugely inflating to my ego hahaha. What inspired you to go to that first parkour lesson?

Boone: I think it was just the situation I was in at the time. Not that I was at a low point, but life just kind of pushed me that direction. I was only in middle school, but I hadn’t had anything taking up that position in my life, and I felt like I needed something. Mainly, I just don’t know where I would be without that first parkour lesson. 

Me: Were you and your friends experimenting with parkour before that at all?

Boone: No, I mean, I had a trampoline at the time, and we would all try backflips. That time period of just casually bouncing around and trying things is really kind of blurred. I kind of realized, “Woah, I could definitely be learning more than just backflips right now.” I could imagine myself doing all these skills. It feels like now I’m just appealing to the 10-12 year old me, because I can do all these things I always wanted. I’m the only one of our original training group who really stayed in parkour, but they’re all so gifted, I wish they would have stuck with it.

Me: When did you officially begin training in a serious capacity?

Boone: I kind of think of that as the span of time when I started training outside of my weekly lessons. Just kind of getting on the outdoor grind. It was like summer 2016, maybe? 

Me: You’ve also attended Woodward a few times, what kind of coaching did you receive there?

Boone: I’ve been there 3 times, and actually what I found surprising my first time was that I was put into groups that didn’t really receive coaching. I mean we had a staff member who was basically a lifeguard, but there wasn’t anyone saying, “do this kong vault ten times,” or anything like that. We were more or less left to just walk around and train since we were all  advanced enough and were practicing skills that aren’t necessarily easily practiced with a coach. I didn’t receive “formal coaching,” but I was able to focus and take in what higher level movement looked and felt like. 

Me: Okay, so it was also more analysis and applied training.

 

 

Boone: Yeah, basically. It was just trying to get my double fulls and kong gainers down, and other kids I was training with who were really good at the skills I wanted would give me pointers. 

Me: So everyone just taught each other what they were good at while they trained together?

Boone: Yeah, Woodward’s formal coaching is mostly for the lower level. Basically if you’re working higher level skills with any consistency then they let you do your own thing. 

Me: Has your training style or structure changed since you first started?

Boone: Absolutely. I still like to do everything, I want to be well-rounded of course. But I think I’ve definitely leaned towards flipping, with fewer jumps and precisions compared to when I first started. My training is definitely more dominated by flips, or like that “tricking-with-obstacles” style. And I definitely like feeling explosive, as shown by my focus on dub dub’s (double full to double full) this year.

Me: How many setups for dub dub do you have now?

Boone: Two, I’m working on more, but a back injury set me back a little bit. I actually had my first time back training on the floor the other night at a rock-climbing gym we go to. They have a dead floor they let us tumble on. But I’m currently doing scoot and cartwheel setups. 

Me: Do you do any additional conditioning outside of parkour training? If so, how often do you condition vs. training parkour?

Boone: Yeah, I weight lift a few times a week. I really use it for injury prevention, my knees and ankles feel way stronger when I’m lifting consistently. I try to lift at least twice a week, and train parkour as much as I can. Sometimes that’s every day outside of lifting. I always want to train, all the time. My main goal beyond everything else, beyond getting better than I was the day before, is making sure that I’m still having fun. The thought of this sport not being fun anymore is terrifying to me. 

Me: Is there any aspect of parkour you wish you could dedicate more time to?

Boone: The first thing that pops into my head, is the technical hand-gainer stuff: castaways, palm flips, kong gainers, that kind of stuff is really my main weakness. That kind of movement is so scary to get into, but I’m just starting to conquer it. Just recently I finally unlocked palm flips, I can do them on any surface, and it's a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like I finally got this trick that people get in their first year of training, on my sixth haha. I’m practicing my weakest skills into pits and stuff every chance I get.

Me: Do you still avoid bars? I remember that vividly.

Boone: Hahaha yes, I still do not like bars. They’re still so so hard. Actually at Woodward, I spent some time on flyaways and stuff, and did a lot of them to mats before I got this massively deep rip, and it kept me off the bars the rest of my time there. Even the coach with us told me not to touch bars anymore. 

Me: Do you have any aspirations as far as competitions?

Boone: Yes, I really wish that life came easier with competitions. I know I can achieve something in them or at least learn a lot. I mean, at Woodward I won both of the style comps I took part in. I just felt like it pushed me a lot. For example in the last competition I was in I did my first ever cork precision. I just know how much competitions could force me to grow. I don’t know if you saw it, but I went to Boston for the Join or Die Jam.  

Me: I did see that.

Boone: I was going to enter the competition and honestly just forgot. I didn’t hear the guy making announcements and I meant to ask how to submit, then I completely forgot to submit my clips. It was definitely more motivation to try harder. The guy who organized the jam, David, grabbed me by the shoulders on my way out and shook me and said, “Why didn’t you submit, you would have won!” 

Me: Haha well there you have it! No excuses! Are you going to submit for the Tempest Online Competition?

Boone: It’ll be a situational thing, my available resources for the next week based on the weather forecast are really only a trampoline park, or a wall, dead floor and a bench. And neither of those are outside. We’ll see what I can work with, but if they don’t have to be outside clips, then maybe I’ll try. But Boston just had such incredible spots.

Me: I’ve heard that, and I remember training in Eugene and thinking it was a little devoid of spots. 

Boone: Yeah, I’ve just been here so much of my life, it feels like I’ve kind of seen everything. But traveling as much as I have been, I’ve seen so many great spots outside of Eugene, and it makes staying here and training a little harder. Even just driving through Pennsylvania on my way to Woodward it seemed like there were more spots. Maybe I’ll use the winter break to travel a little bit, maybe I’ll head up to Portland.

Me: Can you ballpark how much time you spend watching parkour vs. training? 

Boone: It’s not that I don’t watch parkour often, I just train way more. I would say I train five times more than I watch. I do keep up with projects and stuff. I’m not super up to date with the parkour community, but I’m slowly catching up. 

Me: I’m glad your drive outweighs your hunger for content. I wanted to ask if parkour has brought you any commercial success, for instance you have a modeling link on your Instagram, has parkour helped with that venture?

Boone: Well, it hasn’t really gotten me financial success. Like 99% of modeling is just waiting, and I’ve actually put a pause on that because I want to get more piercings and stuff. It has gotten me into the ballpark of different things, when they’re looking for athletic people it helps me stand out. And the whole industry is about being unique, and it has definitely helped me stand out I guess. Nothing is as strong for your “profile” as being unique. It’s really just something my parents suggested to me and I thought, “Why not?” Being frank, it isn’t a passion of mine, and the more I read into it the more not-fun it seems. So maybe this hiatus will last the rest of my life, we’ll see. 

Me: I appreciate the honesty! What are your interests beyond parkour?

Boone: Actually the first thing that comes to mind is science and stuff. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, and got accepted into Oregon State University’s College of Engineering, so hopefully I’ll get to focus on building cool shit for school. Otherwise, I’ve kind of just been figuring it out, with Covid-19 I’ve had to spend my time goofing off by myself rather than with others. I’ve been really into making food too, making good food by myself. There’s some growth to be had there though.

Me: So the question everyone wants answered, what is your preferred parkour shoe?

Boone: Well what’s really worked out for my feet is the New Balance 210. They’re nice and wide, very flat and durable. I’ve had these for a really long time, and the insole takes a beating from where I impact, but I just throw in a new insole and it’s good to go. For people with wide feet like me, these are perfect. I really like New Balances. I used the Farang Elevates, but they were too slender for me. I’d probably still be using them if it weren’t for the width of my feet. 

Me: So lastly, do you know that you’re in a Motus Video?

Boone: Nope.

Me: You are! You’re in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, at about 3:29 into the video, Max Barker does a sideflip precision and you’re standing on a ledge near him. I believe it’s Woodward 2019.

Boone: Wow, in 2019? That’s so crazy, I had no idea. I need to run that back, I might be in more places than I thought from being at Woodward. The biggest shock for me was that post from Shawn Bautista, it’s just a picture of us standing next to each other, and I didn’t even know it was taken until he posted it hahaha. I never imagined something like this interview could happen, I’m super grateful, thank you for having me. This is so cool.

Me: Hell yeah man, of course. I’m glad we could do this, thank you for having this discussion, and I hope to talk to you soon!

 

 

 

Boone is a very talented individual with a drive for parkour that is infectious. His movement is expressive and his commitment to training is second to none. Seeing his progression from a goofy teenager deeply excited about movement, to an adult who has achieved his parkour goals from a standpoint of exclusively having fun, has been a joy to watch. He is utterly unchained, with years of raw parkour potential ahead, and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. You can follow Boone on Instagram @boone_guti, and I highly suggest doing so. 

That’s all for this Chappy Compiles, if you know anyone who you think is pushing their own movement and deserves recognition, please send submissions to @chapmonsta.jumps or @themotusprojects on Instagram.  

 

Media Credit:

All photos and videos courtesy of Boone Gutierrez

Photo of Boone and Shawn Bautista courtesy of Chris Gilman