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Running and leaping through life at full speed

In this video produced by young journalists in the NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs program, Justin Frevert, a parkour artist, explains how the sport has helped him overcome obstacles and embrace life’s challenges.

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    Earlier this month, 18 middle and high school students from around the country traveled here to Washington, D.C., to participate in a special training session for young journalists as part of a program that the NewsHour sponsors called Student Reporting Labs.

    As part of their training, the students were given a chance to make short films about people they encountered on the street.

    We want to share this one with you. It profiles a parkour artist who finds solace in life's challenges by running and leaping through the concrete jungle of a big city, in this case Washington.

    Our story was produced by eighth graders from Philip's Academy in Newark, New Jersey, and a 2015 graduate of Royal Oak High School in Michigan.

    JUSTIN FREVERT, Parkour and Freerunning Artist: I started parkour in middle school. And it was because I was introduced to parkour through a news article.

    However, I had always been somebody who moved around and jumped and climbed on things, so I fell into it really naturally. Basically, I was just like — after I heard about it, I was like, oh, great, well, this has a name.

    Parkour is a training method designed to help somebody become more useful in their everyday environment. It was never designed to be a daredevil sport, extreme sport or anything like that.

    I would say the majority of what parkour practitioners do is they only practice safe progressions, they build their bodies up, they make sure they're strong and safe before they go out and try anything, and they never try anything that's above their limit. If there's something you have to second-guess, you don't try it. You don't force yourself to do it.

    So, I would say that the parkour and freerunning community is filled with people who are more likely to be learners and explorers, that type of personality. My philosophy behind parkour is just to be useful and to overcome obstacles in your life and physically, and using that energy, not only moving forward, but moving in all directions.

    I have learned a lot through parkour, just because the want and the need to do parkour drove me to learn these things, so I could practice what I love.


    You won't find me trying that, but congratulations to all those terrific students participating in our Reporting Lab.

    Produced by William Corprew (Philip's Academy Charter School), Isabel Evans (Philip's Academy Charter School), Evan Gulock (Royal Oak High School) and Orlando Pinder (Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School). Mentor support provided by David Robb of Pflugerville High School.

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