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I was given a pair of "trampoline shoes" and vaguely motioned towards one of the "patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts" that fill most of the place's floor space. I passed at least a hundred children, most under twelve, bouncing like crazy as their caretakers boredly watched from bleachers. There was a distinct Chuck E. Cheese's vibe.
A wiry guy scampers up a smooth wall to the top of a building, then takes a flying leap to another roof, launches off the edge and at the last possible moment gracefully grabs onto a window ledge, drops down twenty feet onto a Dumpster, does a back tuck off the side and lands on the grass in a perfect crouch.No, I’m not talking about Spiderman. The guy I’m talking about, the guy I’m training to be, is doing Parkour.
The basic idea—an old one, admittedly—is that you can take in a great deal of a city while running, especially those places where cars are not able to effectively travel. The novel twist is that you can do this with the help of an athletic tour guide, replacing a complicated tourist map with a pair of running shoes. This way, your mind and body both go for a jog.
Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton, who holds the world record in the decathlon and heptathlon, is in Atlanta this week to compete in a track and field event and to meet with school kids to introduce a free classroom program that offers five-minute brain breaks throughout the day.
In this brave new world of oddball and doctor-disapproved exercise regimens—where people use electric shocking belts in their desperate attempts to develop six-pack stomachs—there must be a product that can help sedentary lawyers fulfill their office-bound dreams of chiseled bodies, right?