Parkour Week: The Pains of Progress

How time does fly! Welcome to the second to last day of Parkour Week.

Tonight I went out for a full evening with the Parkour Club. Compared to other meetings I’ve tagged along for, this one seemed to start a bit more lax and informal, and only about ten traceurs were present. Mr. Maxson was present as usual, and asked the group in front of him where they wanted to go for the evening, and one person said, “Somewhere new!” I chimed in, jokingly saying, “Somewhere well-lit!” Yeah, that went just as well as me attempting this:

Yeah, so this isn't how it would have gone.

Continue reading

Parkour Week: Maxson’s Depth of Mind

Welcome to day three of this week of parkour. Today is a bit of an excerpt from an interview I had on Saturday with yesterday’s leading man, Scott Maxson.

I met up with Maxson at UMass’ own Blue Wall eatery, and sitting by the ceaseless babble of the televisions (almost invariably on CNN and ESPN), had our little chat. Wearing grey sweatpants and a red track jacket, his immediately-disarming smile beamed out from under the thick scruff of a beard as he sat down with his three-cheese panini. A biology major and vegetarian, he is also one of about five head members of the parkour team, and is in his senior year here on campus.

Continue reading

Parkour Week: A Running Start

Hello and welcome to a few days devoted to showing off  parkour! It’s a discipline of movement that focuses on getting from point A to point B as efficiently and effectively as possible – physically and mentally. All week I’ll be highlighting certain aspects of parkour, largely revolving around UMass’ own Parkour Club, and the actions of members therein.

But as a little background, modern parkour has its origins with a French naval officer named Georges Hébert, who, after helping evacuate residents of a town affected by a volcano eruption, developed the motto of “Être fort pour être utile”, or, “Being strong to be useful.” However, some of the basic concepts of parkour can be found all throughout history, like in one particular instance, Japanese ninjitsu.

Continue reading