Eye of the Tiger

Sophomore somersaults into action

Sophomore+Nathan+Doan+began+parkour+as+a+thirteen+year+old.+Since+then%2C+he%E2%80%99s+progressed+to+practicing+free-running%2C+as+well+as+an+apprenticeship+position+at+his+parkour+training+academy%2C+Free+Flow+Academy.+Within+several+months%2C+Doan+will+graduate+from+the+apprenticeship+course+and+begin+a+payed+job+as+a+coach.
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Sophomore somersaults into action

Sophomore Nathan Doan began parkour as a thirteen year old. Since then, he’s progressed to practicing free-running, as well as an apprenticeship position at his parkour training academy, Free Flow Academy. Within several months, Doan will graduate from the apprenticeship course and begin a payed job as a coach.

Sophomore Nathan Doan began parkour as a thirteen year old. Since then, he’s progressed to practicing free-running, as well as an apprenticeship position at his parkour training academy, Free Flow Academy. Within several months, Doan will graduate from the apprenticeship course and begin a payed job as a coach.

(COURTESY / NATHAN DOAN)

Sophomore Nathan Doan began parkour as a thirteen year old. Since then, he’s progressed to practicing free-running, as well as an apprenticeship position at his parkour training academy, Free Flow Academy. Within several months, Doan will graduate from the apprenticeship course and begin a payed job as a coach.

(COURTESY / NATHAN DOAN)

(COURTESY / NATHAN DOAN)

Sophomore Nathan Doan began parkour as a thirteen year old. Since then, he’s progressed to practicing free-running, as well as an apprenticeship position at his parkour training academy, Free Flow Academy. Within several months, Doan will graduate from the apprenticeship course and begin a payed job as a coach.

NICOLE KHUDYAKOV

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The vaults, lunges and leaps involved in parkour, a sport that tests its participants’ abilities to overcome obstacles, seem like something beyond human agility; yet, despite the difficulties attached to the sport, RHS sophomore Nathan Doan is an avid parkour practitioner. Doan’s dedication to parkour began as a listless search for an interesting new hobby to enjoy. Though he’d previously tried a variety of sports, ranging from soccer to swim to tennis, none of them really caught Doan’s attention.

“I didn’t really feel like I’d developed a passion for [them], [but] when I started parkour, I went, ‘Huh, I really seem to like this,’” Doan said.

Doan has been a traceur, a parkour practitioner, for two years. His interest lead him to sign up for Free Flow Academy, a freerunning and parkour physical training academy where he developed his skills with the help of several coaches.(JONAH LUICA / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Eventually, Doan’s commitment to the sport lead him to sign up for an apprenticeship, which served as a precursor to a paying job as a coach at the Academy. Nowadays, Doan is able to further involve himself in his passion through teaching.

“It’s fun to teach people stuff you’re passionate about, because then you get to see how they progress,” Doan said.

Despite his new status as a coach, Doan still encounters chances to continue learning and bettering his agility, as he has recently picked up free-running, which is a similar style of movement to parkour.

“Parkour is like the canvas for a painting and then free-running is the art and the colors, so there can be parkour without free-running, but there cannot be freerunning without parkour,” Doan said.

Like Doan, senior Jared Huber also practices at the Free Flow Academy. For Huber, meeting fellow traceurs is still something of a rarity, so he appreciates the fact that others at RHS practice this sport.

“It’s pretty cool to see people that I know doing it and other people that I just met from doing it,” Huber said.

According to Doan, he enjoys practicing parkour in his free time because of it’s casual, non-competitive nature, which other sports seem to lack.

“Parkour’s not really competitive. It’s just kind of like exploring movement,” Doan said. “In other sports, it’s all about competition or who can get first place, but with parkour it’s more like doing your own thing and finding your own style.”

Doan feels he still has room to improve, but that he has made good progress with free-running and parkour.

About the Writer
NICOLE KHUDYAKOV, FEATURES EDITOR

I'm currently sixteen and a junior at RHS. This is my second year as part of the staff at Eye of the Tiger, and each new year allows me to grow as both...

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