Hardcore Parkour

This year, Elder has an extreme new club to offer: the Parkour Club. If you thought Ping-Pong club was intense, just wait until you see these guys flipping off walls doing 360-degree spins. But what is Parkour exactly? Parkour actually originated in France from a type of military training obstacle course. The goal is to get from one place to another using only your body, and avoiding obstacles in whatever way possible. This includes anything from flips to jumping over walls. A similar cousin to Parkour is called Free-Running, and many may confuse the two. The main difference between Parkour and freerunning is that in Parkour there is a set place to get to, while in freerunning, one is free to move throughout his or her environment in any way he or she chooses with no set destination. Basically, just someone jumping off of a wall without as set course is not considered Parkour. To get more information on Parkour, I decided to interview one of the moderators of the club, Zack Sullivan. Zack has been parkouring for about a year now, and he really enjoys the activity. “Jack Smith, the other club moderator, and I originally started doing it out of boredom, and after about a month, we started to actually take it seriously and tried getting a lot better at it,” Zack told me. Jack and Zack’s favorite place to parkour at is West Fork Park. “It has a lot of structures that are relatively tall and is a public park, so it suits our needs. We usually just stick with doing our stuff there because finding another good place to parkour is difficult,” says Zack. Because of the extreme nature of parkour, injuries are common. One man who was parkouring fell nineteen feet because of a mishap, breaking a femur, three ribs, three toes, two fingers and a chipped tooth. It took this man six months to recover, which just goes to show how dangerous Parkour can be. Zack has been lucky enough to avoid any serious injuries. “I haven’t hurt myself too badly parkouring, but I have hit my shin on things and gotten plenty of scrapes,” he says. “Normally if you pay attention to what you’re doing, you won’t hurt yourself too much.” Zack explained that the biggest reason people get hurt is because they try to complete a trick that is too advanced for them. When people Parkour, they have to know their limitations so they don’t hurt themselves. Parkour is technically a sport, but not an official sport; No points are scored and there are no teams. Zack, however, is convinced that maybe one day the sport will have teams and points and an official league, maybe even a team at Elder. “I could definitely see it getting to a point where teams, scoring points, and the like would play a part in Parkour in the future,” says Zack. Even with the ever growing popularity of the sport, many people aren’t too serious about it. Some claim they do Parkour, when really it’s just them jumping over a curb. It’s easy to act like a dare devil and claim you do some “hardcore Parkour,” but a true parkourer doesn’t need to gloat about what they do. Zack told me that honestly, people who Parkour are just everyday people. I learned from Zack that you don’t need to be amazingly brave or totally ripped to Parkour, you just need to have a passion for it, just like any other hobby. Parkour is a great way to exercise and have fun, so if you’re interested in this new and exciting club, contact either Jack Smith or Zack Sullivan about joining. Pretty soon you’ll be jumping over walls like it’s your job.