So... I've been watching video compilations of Parkour fails on Youtube, because...
...Okay, well, probably because I'm a bad person.
(You want an example? Here's a relatively mild compilation. It's still not safe for work, though -- language, mostly, but also, well, people hurting themselves doing improbable things.)
So anyway, I've been watching these things -- could I say I'm doing it remind myself why I shouldn't, at forty-two years of age, try to take up this particular hobby? Would that sound better? Probably.
So anyway, I've been watching these things, and it strikes me that these failures break down into three basic categories:
1. This Was A Colossally Bad Idea. This would include, say, the guy who lined himself up so that the landing zone for his backflip was right in the middle of a plant, or the pair who tried to jump in tandem and wound up with one landing on the other. Or -- a personal favorite -- the one who decided to start his stunt from atop a sloped, icy roof. In fact, jumping to or from anything slippery falls into this category. So does any such attempt that starts with drinking.
2. This Is Beyond My Abilities. A surprising number of these people seem to crash by failing to get their ankles high enough to go over the obstacles -- they essentially trip at high rates of speed. Others hesitate at the last minute and trip themselves up (which, in those cases, would probably have been a good idea -- hesitating, I mean -- if they'd done it half a minute earlier).
3. This World Is Not Strong Enough For My Mad Skillz. If you're going to jump onto something, rebound off something, or swing around something, well... do yourself a favor and make sure it's strong enough to withstand your weight (and more particularly, your weight coming at that speed from that angle). The number of people who make perfectly serviceable leaps onto roofs, fences, walls, and play equipment that promptly collapse rather boggles the mind.
That said, there's some great material here. I would love to see a movie in which, say, the police (or the city guards, or the avenging heroes) are chasing the bad guys across the city, leaping over obstacles and dodging around obstructions, only to have the chase end when one or both parties thoroughly screws the pooch. I would pay money for that. I would watch the shit out of that. Hollywood directors, please take heed.