Drew Friz flips for parkour

Valerie Adams, Feature Editor

To most of us, the word “parkour” is associated with those “super cool” tricks we do when we jump from a really low platform. To junior Drew Fritz, parkour means moving from one area to another in the most unique way possible. This, obviously, is the correct way to use this term.
Parkour began as a French Special Forces training program and was originally called “parcours.” This was invented to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible, such as climbing over something instead of going around it. As the French used this technique, they decided efficiency wasn’t their biggest concern anymore. They started adding in flips and other skills to express themselves through movement and invented what we know as parkour.
Fritz got into parkour from looking at videos on YouTube and Instagram.
“I just thought they looked really cool, and I wished I could do what they were doing,” Fritz said.
These videos consist of people climbing up walls, jumping from one skyscraper to another and flipping off of platforms. Overall, all these skills require immense strength and aerobic abilities.
In order to learn these skills, Fritz goes to Parkour Visions in Seattle, which is a nonprofit organization that helps teach those who want to learn about parkour.
“Once you get to know everybody there, they’re super friendly and are willing to help if you have any questions,” Fritz said.
When Fritz is at Parkour Visions, he isn’t just messing around. He sets a goal to achieve for that day, such as a 360 backflip, and works towards that goal the entire time.
The different skills that Fritz works on can be transferred to his other passion: diving.
“A lot of parkour has to do with air time. You need to figure out how long you’re in the air to perform certain skills, and that applies a lot to diving,” Fritz said.
As well as being a diver, Fritz aspires to be a rescue swimmer.
“You need to be able to jump out of helicopters as a rescue swimmer, so before I did anything else, I had to overcome my fear of heights,” Fritz said. “Once I did that, I was one step closer towards my goal.”
Fritz enjoys parkour because not only does he learn skills for what he wants to do in life, he says it’s a great workout and overall just a great time.
“I would totally recommend this to everyone,” Fritz said. “You get to be in great shape and you get to look really awesome, so I don’t see any downsides to it.”