WSU parkour club overcomes obstacles

Andrew Plaster, English Major, Senior (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
A student practices parkour during the WSU parkour club. (Source: The Signpost/Lichelle Jenkins)

Navigating the world through leaps and jumps, the Weber State University parkour and free-running club is nothing short of adventurous.

The WSU parkour club offers a unique experience as they kick off their second semester and is open to any thrill-seeking wildcats.

The club is currently run by Andrew Plaster. A senior and long-time traceur (someone who practices the art of parkour), Plaster has been part of the club at Weber State for four years, but his interest in this sport began during his childhood.

(Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
A group of Wildcats perform parkour as part of the Weber State parkour and free-running club. (Source: The Signpost/Lichelle Jenkins)

“During recess, I practiced running on walls and jumping off things,” he said. “That slowly evolved into exploring more on how my body could move. And that’s what parkour is: knowing yourself and how you move.”

Parkour started in France and was made famous by David Belle. This renowned tracuer eventually turned this sport into a grueling and meditative process of conditioning the body to surmount any obstacles that lie in a person’s path.

According to Plaster, parkour is defined as “getting from point A to point B in a quick and efficient manner using only your body”.

Parkour is primarily practiced in an outdoor and urban environment, but there are also gyms that offer an artificial environment to practice making difficult movements, like flips and high jumps.

(Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Making jumps, leaps, and landings is what the WSU parkour and free-running club does every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. (Source: The Signpost/Lichelle Jenkins)

However, Plaster believes that parkour is best learned by maneuvering through natural terrain and urban landscapes.

“I feel the best training actually comes from applying it outside in the physical world,” he said, “That way, you’re not trying things out of your limits because you’re used to a safety mat in a gym.”

As parkour president, Plaster is hoping to restructure the club’s ideals and philosophies for this semester. With his fellow traceur, sophomore Zeter Raimondo, Plaster is eager to teach the daredevil qualities of parkour without making it a sport about “showing off.”

Raimondo said parkour is about overcoming barriers and obstacles, both physically and mentally, and being prepared to fail. For him, parkour is a lifestyle.

It’s what I center a lot of my thinking around and a lot of what I do. It’s how I interact with people and it’s how I see the world,” said Raimondo.

The Weber State parkour and free-running club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. Plaster encourages anyone who is interested to come and participate.

“We’re not going to push you off a building. We’re not going to make you do some insane flip that you know you can’t do,” said Plaster. “We will work with you if that’s what you want to do, but if you want to make yourself a better person for yourself, come and do it with us.”