Students invest in parkour, making it their new hobby


PHOTO Photo by Nick Farella

Jumping from one platform to another, senior Ivan Boedecker practices his free running skills at State Road Elementary. Boedecker has been practicing parkour and freerun since he was a sophomore.

Shealyn Mandle, Assistant Editor

Approaching a brick wall, freshman Ryan Byczynski prepares to do a back flip. Once he has stuck the landing, he is back running again thinking of his next move. He cartwheels across the grass, continuing his rush.

As one of the most dangerous activities in the world, parkour is anything but average. It takes a willing person to go through the training required and to take the risk of getting injured every time when performing a new trick.

“Parkour is aiming to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way by running up walls, vaulting or dashing,” senior Ivan Boedecker said. “Freerunning is the art of expressing oneself through the environment rather than getting to a certain spot; you’re just expressing movement, like doing awesome flips.”

Boedecker started doing parkour and freerunning two years ago. He learned by watching videos on YouTube that walked through different tricks. To further his interest, he began taking a parkour class at Phoenix Gym.

“You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment to do this activity, you just need the clothes on your back and hard training. You always need to be training and trying to become stronger because it takes a lot of energy to perform,” Boedecker said. “For training, you need to focus on most of your body and get pretty physically fit through pull ups, sit ups, squats and so on. You want to mostly train with your own body weight because that’s what you’ll be when you go out and parkour.”

For some, parkour and freerunning are beneficial to other sports because of all the action and training.

“I like parkour because it’s a really fun physical activity. It helps keep me in shape and also it helps with dance,” Byczynski said. “It helps with dance because it makes me better with tumbling and doing other flips if they’re in my dances.”

Byczynski goes to places like the Millpond, Tomek and State Road elementary schools where he finds different play structures and objects to do flips off of. He goes with his friend freshman Brett Blackburn.

Students interested in starting Parkour should check out where they can read all about parkour & freerunning. This website provides information about the history of parkour, who can do it, how to practice and where to get started.