My SPU story: How parkour helps me learn to trust God

Belinda Garcia discovered there is much more to parkour than fancy urban acrobatics and jumping off ridiculously high walls: It’s a way of life.

I remember that Saturday morning perfectly. Walking through the door of Parkour Visions gym, I knew my curiosity had gotten the best of me. I wanted to learn more about parkour, and this gym — just a few minutes away from the Seattle Pacific University campus — was my window into a crazy awesome world of flips and concrete.

I’d just started my freshman year, and life was changing fast. I hadn’t expected to be able to attend SPU, but God had made it happen. Now, I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

Take a risk

At the gym that morning, I decided to give parkour a try. ‘What could it hurt?’ I asked myself. A handful of scrapes and bruises later, I had my answer. Parkour would hurt sometimes, but the pain would be worth it. By the end of the day, I knew I was going to do parkour, and nobody was going to stop me.

When you see me, you might not guess I do parkour. People who watch videos on YouTube have referred to these athletes as modern-day ninjas. But I discovered that there is much more to parkour than fancy urban acrobatics and jumping off ridiculously high walls. It’s a way of life, where you push yourself and try what seems impossible.

Belinda Garcia jumping over an obstacle in the gym

Conquer any obstacle

Not long ago, going to college felt impossible. I’ve always loved academics, but I’m first generation, and neither of my parents have college degrees. During the last part of my junior year in high school, my mom lost her job and I had to be our family’s breadwinner. I worked two part-time jobs, on top of my high school classes.

I thought I would be earning minimum wage for the rest of my life, but God had other plans. My SPU admissions counselor, Tony Nabors, told me I was eligible for the Falcon Bound commitment. This meant my tuition would be covered in full.

When I found out, my heart dropped in my stomach. I couldn’t believe it. With how difficult things had been, it had felt hard to trust in God. Being accepted to SPU was God’s testament to me that he had something great for me.

Extreme faith

Through parkour, I see God showing me that it’s okay to take risks. Life might not be easy. I’ll get scrapes and bruises along the way. But with each obstacle I’ve overcome, I’m growing stronger and more confident. God wants me to believe that great things can happen if I put my faith in him and put my mind to work.

College was the first leap, parkour was the second. Continuing on the path before me will take a lot of work. But I know I have an incredible God, and he has my back when things get rough.

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