Parkour Feature for Washington Post Magazine, January 2008

Embed from Getty Images

Jump First, Ask Questions Later

“They didn’t really call it ADD or ADHD, or whatever, when I was growing up. They just called me a spaz,” American Parkour founder Mark Toorock says. “From as far back as I can remember, I was always running around, climbing all over stuff, jumping off of things. And I was running in other ways, too. I was just an angry, angry kid. I was adopted, never felt like I fit in and always used to base my self-worth on having been abandoned by somebody, even though my adoptive family was really great. All the cliche stuff, right up to when I ended up running away in high school.

I look at the work being done by young people in my gym now, and I have to think: If had done something like this — martial arts, running track, anything — much earlier, maybe I could have skipped the whole hooligan [expletive] part of my life.”

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Writer/editor/photographer/adventurer based in Denver, CO.

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