What follows is the first review of one of the original participants from Night Mission III that I hosted in July 2016 in Vienna. Enjoy the read!
Night Mission III
Let’s face an inconvenient truth: Regular life is boring, about 95 % of the time. Wake up, eat, work, eat, wash the dishes, sleep, repeat. Yes, there’s the time with our loved ones that no one will want to miss, but apart from that? Repetition. “Groundhog Day” all over again.
For me, sports in general and parkour in particular is a form of breaking out of this routine. As long as I am moving forward, I am out of the comfort zone – I have to interact with my surroundings, their form dictates my options. And sometimes, this urge for getting out of the day-to-day-habit sends me off to events that challenge me even further. I’ve done several OCRs like Spartan Race, Wildsau Dirtrun and others. The Night Mission III was a whole different kind of thing, and I’m still not entirely sure what I experienced – but it was awesome.
Starting things off with nine people (including Alex, our guide for the night) in Heiligenstadt, we were all a bit anxious. Nobody except Alex and Christian – who stood in as instructor for Alex at some of the challenges – had ever been on a Night Mission before, and we did not really know what to expect. Right off the bat, Alex told us that the Mission was going to last for nine hours in total. A little more than I had anticipated, since I thought it ended at sunrise, which would have been two hours earlier. But well, it was too late to change my mind (not that I wanted that) and we set off into the night.
What followed was a well planned series of tasks along a certain subway line that in my opinion seldom had really a lot in common with “classic” Parkour movement. Only one challenge asked for continuous, flowing movement for five minutes in a row, which of course looks best if done with panache and a few pres and kongs. Apart from that, there was climbing, daring, endurance and a whole lot of teamwork excercises. In a smart move, Alex made sure that we changed partners for almost every task he threw at us. This way we could not stick to people we already knew, but had to get acquainted with all of our team – and I am very grateful for that, since they were a lovely bunch. See, there is a sense of cameraderie (even though I do not really like this word) between people that have shared a whole night of continuous movement, mental and physical challenges as well as a lot of smiles. Smiles and seldom loud laughs, mind you – because we’re ninjas, dammit! And come morning, I did feel a bit ninja. A thoroughly beaten ninja, mind you; I would not recommend this whole shenanigans to ill-prepared people. Run a few training rounds, scrape your knees in basic Parkour movement practice, maybe climb around a little in your local bouldering facility – you will need those things. But anyway: After all Alex had thrown at us, we were still standing, still moving, still checking of the last tasks (doing continuous push-ups for fifteen minutes at 6 AM – yeah, about as much fun as it sounds). I am happy to report that the whole team has made it through the night, but might have undergone the slightest bit of a change. Because even though the regular life may be boring from time to time, I will always enjoy every part of it if it leads me to exciting events like the Night Mission III.