Who knew free-running was for real?

There's two kinds of people in the world: those who like to be chased and those who do the chasing. I mean literally, not in some kind of financial, romantic or metaphysical. I mean driving, running, even walking.

As a young kid, I knew that I liked being chased much more than doing the chasing. All I had to do was stay ahead of the pursuer, and I sort of controlled where the chase went. I would use my big mouth to get other kids to chase me on the school playground. I rarely got caught.

I wasn't especially fast. It was because I would take unconventional paths, racing full speed toward obstacles like tree roots, other kids, playground equipment, etc. The other kids would have to slow down and still would trip, stumble and backtrack, allowing me to get away.

How did I do it? Somehow, I was able to observe, plan and execute a route through the obstacles long before I physically reached them. I could see the route through a tight spot before I come to it, planned where to put my lead foot, how to twist my torso, and so on. I had to solve this puzzle continually and it was great fun to get that rush as I was able to do it, all while keeping the pursuers at arms length.

To do this, I had to cut certain things close: twisting and turning to fit through small gaps, avoid tree branches or jungle gym bars, running on ice. This skill greatly helped in my brief but legendary career in the difficult world of elementary school dodgeball.

Doing this produced a certain amount of grace in movement, from the constant motion, the minimal exertion to avoid obstacles combined with a constant speed. It creates a kind of high, flowing across the ground, mind moving faster than my feet.

This, I found out recently, thanks to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, is a sport called free running, or parkour in France. These two physical disciplines are very close to what I did as a kid. That is pretty awesome. Watching free running is nearly as much fun as doing it, I bet.

Now that I'm living here in the future, where's my free running HD channel?

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