Regional: Aspenite opens parkour gym in Grand Junction
Special to Free Press
Ever wondered if there were a new sport you could pursue that — unlike skiing, paddling, cycling or climbing — required no new expensive gear and no certain location?
What if you could just walk outside your door and practice your favorite sport anywhere — with nothing more than a shirt, shorts and a pair of good sneakers?
Aspen native Trevor Rittenhouse, 20, discovered parkour as a middle schooler and started a parkour club at Aspen High. He’s been doing parkour passionately for seven years now, and he recently decided to open a Grand Junction gymnasium (715 S. Seventh St.) devoted to it. Rittenhouse’s friend, Vinnie Coryell, is his business partner.
“Parkour is basically the art of movement,” said the 2012 Aspen High graduate. “It’s a practical way to get from point A to point B efficiently that incorporates running, vaults and jumps. It’s just efficient movement, but it’s become a creative way to express yourself through movement.”
Launch a Google search for “parkour video,” and you’ll discover literally millions of videos, mostly involving young men (and some women) performing acrobatic, gymnastic moves in urban and suburban environments using walls, railings, steps, berms and other features to perform jumps and tricks. It’s fun to watch, and the athletic practitioners make it look easy. But Rittenhouse promises that training and technique are vital, and that’s the reason behind the Move to Inspire Parkour Facility, the first of its kind on Colorado’s Western Slope.
The word “parkour” is derived from “parcours du combatant,” military obstacle courses conceived by French physical educator George Hebert and used to train soldiers. Hebert emphasized not only natural physical conditioning but also courage and moral rectitude.
Rittenhouse practiced, trained and taught at parkour gyms in Denver and is confident that Move to Inspire can succeed in the Western Slope’s largest city. The facility is sort of a cross between a traditional gym and a playground for adults — there’s a foam floor, but instead of trampolines, rings and pommel horses, there are large, movable wooden structures with bars attached — a place to run, jump, swing and, sometimes, fall, safely.
“Our customers are usually students, elementary to high school, but we’d like everyone to be there,” Rittenhouse said. “I’ve taught a 58-year-old couple. They went slowly, and they weren’t doing big tricks, but they were still doing parkour.”
The opening of Move to Inspire is the realization of a dream for Rittenhouse, and he invites everyone to experience “a safe and positive atmosphere for persons of all ages to explore fitness, fun and creativity through movement.”
Learn more at www.movetoinspire.com or call 970-319-2805.
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