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Sophomore jumps new heights

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Holding+himself+up%2C+sophomore+Josh+Pattisall+does+a+handstand+on+a+brick+wall.+Pattisall+has+been+doing+parkour+and+freerunning+for+the+last+two-and-a-half+to+three+years.+%0A
Holding himself up, sophomore Josh Pattisall does a handstand on a brick wall. Pattisall has been doing parkour and freerunning for the last two-and-a-half to three years.

Holding himself up, sophomore Josh Pattisall does a handstand on a brick wall. Pattisall has been doing parkour and freerunning for the last two-and-a-half to three years.

Photo Courtesy Josh Pattisall

Photo Courtesy Josh Pattisall

Holding himself up, sophomore Josh Pattisall does a handstand on a brick wall. Pattisall has been doing parkour and freerunning for the last two-and-a-half to three years.

Start in one direction, take one big step, rotate 180 degrees, and kick off one foot into a backflip. Sophomore Josh Pattisall mentally goes through the steps of a move called a “j-step” before throwing himself into the air. Seconds later, Pattisall successfully lands and thinks, “Wow that was a lot easier than it should have been.”

Pattisall has been learning vigorous moves for the last two and a half to three years to expand his love for parkour and freerunning. According to World Freerunning and Parkour Federation, parkour is: “the act of moving from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ using the obstacles in your path to increase your efficiency.”

The first move that Pattisall learned was a vault, which is an easier way to get over a rail. “I have a rock in my backyard and I started to try to get over it and not mess up and fall. You kind of get it [the move] when you start to get it right,” Pattisall said.

On average, he trains anywhere from 7-25 hours a week at the gym or in his pole barn that has vaults and other obstacles in it. Once a week, other parkour fanatics and Pattisall train together by teaching and learning new moves from each other.

Depending on the difficulty of the move, it can take 30 minutes or more to successfully learn it. “You work on it either with foam or with a mat first, and you don’t move up until you get it. Even then, you still bail out sometimes,” Pattisall said.

A gainer, which is where you backflip while moving forward, scares him the most and causes him to hesitate before he does it. “I don’t want to end up going too far up and landing back on that ledge halfway around either on my head or my legs, and I can’t get myself to do it because of that,” Pattisall said.

Two years ago, he suffered a stress fracture in his back due to the combination of moves he was trying to do. “I didn’t have the muscle built up for it, so it just put more and more stress on my bones,” Pattisall said.

However, this didn’t end his interest in doing parkour. He has progressed since then and has reached a high of doing jumps from 15 feet off the ground.  

Overall, Pattisall’s goal is to get better at teaching new moves and to work towards participating in competitions, such as The Art of Motion hosted by Red Bull, when he gets older.

Pattisal is also trying to progressively enhance his skills, such as learning how to land a castaway, a move where you support your body on a ledge with your legs up against a wall, push off of it, and go into a flip. Although he knows how to do it, he cannot mentally get himself to that level.  

“It’s 20 percent strength and then 80 percent mindset,” Pattisall said. “If you think about it, you overthink it and it’s like if I don’t do this, I’m going to land on my neck.”  

Caroline Cooney is an In-Focus Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Sophomore jumps new heights”

  1. Lauren Stidham on February 29th, 2016 5:50 pm

    I really like that you talked about the different moves that he is trying to master. I don’t really know much about parkour so the description of the moves really helped. You should come check out what our journalism team is doing over at http://birdeyenews.forrestbirdcharterschool.org/!

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Sophomore jumps new heights