A voice calls out, “Scott, are you doing something stupid?” He bashfully responds, “…Yeah.” In the damp chill of a rainy, late summer evening at UMass Amherst, the lean college senior bolts towards two picnic tables laid end-to-end, and leaps.
Extending his arms, he plants them upon the end of the first table and swings his body forward, propelling him to the next table. Quickly replacing his arms upon the second table, he vaults forward again- but not smoothly enough- so his body slips sideways into the air past the table.
In an almost Looney Tunes fashion, he seems to pause in mid-air, looks down, and realizes he is about to fall. He then dexterously turns his body just enough fall safely into a roll. Cats don’t look this good. But not easily deterred by the slip-up, Scott Maxson pats the soggy dirt from his grey sweatpants and prepares to try it again.
He does it not for the crowd, not for any tangible reward, but for the self-satisfaction of accomplishing the challenge. This is parkour. Continue reading