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Spartan pushes limits with parkour

Hayden+Gowen+%2810%29+completes+a+front+flip+in+the+courtyard+at+White+Station.+Gowen+began+doing+parkour+in+the+seventh+grade+and+plans+to+continue+in+the+future.++
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Spartan pushes limits with parkour

Hayden Gowen (10) completes a front flip in the courtyard at White Station. Gowen began doing parkour in the seventh grade and plans to continue in the future.

Hayden Gowen (10) completes a front flip in the courtyard at White Station. Gowen began doing parkour in the seventh grade and plans to continue in the future.

Rachel Parkison

Hayden Gowen (10) completes a front flip in the courtyard at White Station. Gowen began doing parkour in the seventh grade and plans to continue in the future.

Rachel Parkison

Rachel Parkison

Hayden Gowen (10) completes a front flip in the courtyard at White Station. Gowen began doing parkour in the seventh grade and plans to continue in the future.

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Some students play football. Others run track. But Hayden Gowen (10) finds time to workout in a more unusual way. Rather than participating in the traditional sports, he devotes his time to parkour.

Parkour is a form of training discipline in which athletes, officially known as traceurs, aim to swiftly maneuver from place to place in complex urban environments. However, many simply know it as the as the fastest way to move from point A to point B.

“It originally started off as French military training. I think it’s more of an art [than a sport],” Gowen (10) said.

Parkour has spread in popularity in recent years, as many people have caught on and are using it as a unique form of exercise. Gowen first became involved three years ago and has since improved his skill through classes at Memphis Parkour.

“I feel like there’s not a class hard enough for me anymore,” Gowen said.

Regardless of skill, however, the physical rigour of parkour still holds its fair share of risk.

“You have to be careful. I tore a ligament in my ankle just over the summer,” Gowen said. “[It stopped me from doing parkour] pretty much the entire summer.”

Nevertheless, he believes the most challenging aspect of parkour is not its physical requirements, but its psychological demands.

“[The most difficult thing about doing parkour is] the mentality. You have to have a really good

mindset for it,” Gowen said.

Despite these difficulties, Gowen believes he has done more than find a unique way to stay fit—the sport pushes his physical and mental boundaries to help him overcome personal fears and inhibitions.

“It’s really not fun to try something new because it’s scary,” Gowen said, “but that’s also one of the best parts.”

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Spartan pushes limits with parkour