UMW Parkour Club turns campus into a giant jungle gym
By KELLY EMMRICH
Jim Halpert once said on “The Office” that “The goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible. So technically they’re doing parkour as long as point A is delusion and point B is the hospital.”
Even though Michael, Andy and Dwight couldn’t do parkour very well, that doesn’t mean that the 2004 internet sensation is reserved for James Bond films.
The University of Mary Washington Parkour Club hosted its first annual Parkour Day on Saturday. The event was an all-day event and took place in different areas of campus. Even with hundreds of prospective students milling around on campus walk for Accepted Students Day, it wasn’t hard to spot the Parkour Club.
UMW Parkour Club members met on Ball Circle around noon and began their warm-up for the day. The members went through a series of exercises; first arm circles, then head circles, hip circles, knee circles, ankle circles and then jumping jacks.
Around 12:30 p.m. five or six free-runners from University of Virginia came to join in the warm- up rounding the total to about 20 participants.
When everyone had arrived, they all proceeded to their first jam location, Trinkle Hall, where they flipped over the railings, climbed trees, leapt over steps and did standing backflips in the grass. After an hour, they moved on to their second location.
“Personally, I most enjoyed doing parkour by the UC,” said president of the parkour club and host of the parkour event Carson Meadows.
“By then, everyone was warmed-up, hyped and itching to do some big stunts. The area itself has good walls to jump, climb and flip on. The rails are fun to play on as well as the tables, and the steps in front are a perfect size to leap over.” Meadows has been doing parkour on his own for several years, and he has worked and trained with Urban Evolution, an established parkour gym in Virginia.
“Essentially, parkour, to me, is a style of movement that can be employed to traverse an environment in a safe and efficient manner,” Meadows said. “I aim to teach many skills ranging from landings, vaults, walls, rails and more.”
When he started the club he was the sole instructor and he had to build up the team from there.
“The inspiration for starting the club came from when I saw some skateboarders doing some tricks,” Meadows said. “They were pretty good, but I noticed that their landings when they bailed were horrendous. Part of my goal here is not just to teach cool parkour moves, but to really stomp out these awful habits people have. Done right, three-story drops can be walked away from like nothing. Everyone should at least know how to drop a few feet without damaging their body.”