Onlookers stopped to take pictures and videos as Parkour Club President Jeremy Odom jumped from a platform to a wall and then flipped through the air, landing on his feet.
The parkour club has grown since its beginning on campus, now with a large following including both women and men.
The rise of the internet and Youtube allowed those interested in movement a chance to learn more about parkour and become involved.
Parkour, according to Odom, is the action of finding the most creative way to go from one spot to another. This can be running, jumping, climbing, flipping or other body motions that will help an athlete reach their destination.
Parkour requires flexibility in order to move the body in a variety of ways. Although often performed in urban settings, athletes can choose their own locations.
Odom, senior in interdisciplinary university studies, described parkour as a movement-based sport focused on going over, around or through an object.
He said parkour is all about “finding out what you are personally capable of and pushing that safely."
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He said the exercise is similar to a child’s playground. Children grow up learning parkour as they jump over objects, climb trees and learn to utilize every part of their body. Odom said that as people grow older, they often forget how to do that.
Vice President Sadler Hinton trains with the club around campus, and at every practice, he wears a tiger tail on the back of his sweatpants.
Hinton said that humans normally use their legs to walk and move while animals use their whole body with a range of muscles and movement. Hinton said he wears the tail to bridge the gap between human and animal movement.
Odom said besides the physical aspect, an athlete must also overcome the mental challenges. He said one must train diligently to accomplish his or her goals and conquer an obstacle.
“There’s a sense of pride that you get in each of those big groundbreaking movements that just build on top of each other,” Odom said.
Everything becomes an obstacle to someone learning parkour. Parkour changes the outlook someone has on design and architecture, Odom said.
Yokeswaran Subramanian, a new member of the club, said that it is exciting to have a club at the University dedicated solely to parkour.
"I think it's more adventurous," Yokeswaran said.
While there are not many competitions, Odom explained that they are largely camaraderie based. Parkour does not have to be an individual sport, members said. There is a lot of emphasis on the team.
Subramanian said being able to learn from friends and teammates rather than a class or an online video has been worth it and a great experience.
Hughes encourages students to put themselves out there and not talk themselves out of it.
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