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Parkour offers more than the ability to leap

Parkour offers more than the ability to leap

Cody Goodman warms up by leaping over the concrete seats at the amphitheater outside of the life sciences building. Chad Robertson | Staff Writer

Parkour offers more than the ability to leap
October 26
20:05 2015

Chad Robertson | Staff Writer

@chadr0b

Saturday afternoon was defined by a gray sky, chilled air and sprinkling rain, but that didn’t deter adventurous 24-year-old Cody Goodman from finding nearby urban obstacles on which to practice his parkour tricks.

Goodman seized the day, practicing and honing his abilities on his favorite campus walls, stairwells and railings.

Goodman warmed up at the amphitheater next to the life sciences building by leaping over rows of concrete seats and the bushes that dotted the landscape, all while expertly avoiding the freshly formed puddles from recent rain showers

“Failure is important because it pushes you to reach a goal,” Goodman said. “Failing a move the first time challenges you to keep trying until you get it right.”

Goodman began practicing parkour eight years ago. It is the art of getting from one spot to another in the most direct way possible, using obstacles along the way to get to the destination.

After leaving UNT in 2011 and settling into Denton, Goodman was able to master his skills.

Having limbered up, finding his muscles warm and much more flexible than when he first stepped into the rainy weekend weather, Goodman took his capabilities elsewhere on campus. He leapt from wall to wall, jumping and pulling himself on top of them. Never missing a beat, he continued to spring from one hurdle to the next.

When he finally reached the towering wall outside of the music building, at least twice his height, he paused to assess his new challenge.

After about four tries, Goodman was finally able to latch onto the top and pull himself up.

ParkourIMG_9311

Cody Goodman lunges over the amphitheater’s concrete rows of seats. Chad Robertson | Staff Writer

Goodman, a freelance computer programmer, said he appreciates the obstacles that take more than one try to ace.

“You definitely have to be a little bit more careful when it’s wet out like this,” Goodman said.

To those who avidly practice parkour, it is more than just the ability able to hop around an urban landscape.

Latravious Mayfield, 19, started parkour seven years ago and said he turns to it as a way to escape reality, using it as an outlet to relax.

“Parkour has helped me control my feelings,” Mayfield, a computer science sophomore, said. “I do parkour when I’m in a bad mood, and it helps me feel better.”

Since parkour is based on the ability to quickly and smoothly transition between movements, Mayfield added that it is important to stay focused to reduce the risk of injury.

“When I’m in the middle of a movement, I constantly think about the next action of what I’m going to do,” Mayfield said. “I love the ability to move fluidly.”

Starting parkour is a slow and gradual process, and Goodman suggests not getting too eager when starting out. He added that it’s important to get one’s ankles and muscles acclimated to the motions so they are not left stressed from activities.

Mayfield said he is open to helping people settle into the sport and enjoys helping newcomers get started.

Parkour gives the restless a chance to leave reality and offers them an entry into a world of urban landscapes that present both physical and emotional challenges.

“Start off small and keep working on that until you feel like it is perfect,” Mayfield said. “Never feel like something is too hard, work your way up to the challenge.”

Featured Image: Cody Goodman warms up by leaping over the concrete seats at the amphitheater outside of the life sciences building.  Chad Robertson | Staff Writer

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