Parkour is about getting from one point to another as efficiently as you can. These parkour athletes try to challenge themselves physically and mentally, overcoming fears and obstacles. Max Stussi started doing parkour 13 years ago and has leveraged it as a way to exercise and relieve stress. Nothing else in the world mattered except the jump in front of him. He relates parkour to real life in that you have to problem solve obstacles in front of you and barriers you need to get through, in the most literal sense. The mental gymnastics he faces while doing parkour helps him with everyday life tasks.
Max thinks that parkour comes naturally to humans because we grow up climbing in trees and playgrounds and running from spot to spot. Adults can still enjoy this childhood pleasure as a unique and fun way to workout.
While parkour can empower someone physically and mentally, Max cautions those who get into the sport and become adrenaline junkies. There is an adrenaline rush that comes with doing any trick that is dangerous, but it’s important not to get addicted to such a rush. Doing so means the athlete is chasing the feeling of doing something that is scary, which is a slippery slope that can often lead to injury. Max is more interested in challenging himself and getting better than taking a lot of risks.
For the last 13 years parkour has, and will continue to be, the one constant in Stussi’s life. No matter where things take him, he knows he can always throw on a pair of worn kicks and hit the town.
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