In this episode, Sean Corvelle sits down with Jesse La Flair who is a (to just name a few) freerunner, parkour athlete, award-winning film director, and stuntman. They discuss the art of parkour and freerunning, Jesse’s experience on American Ninja Warrior, travelling across the country with his family, and so much more.
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A LOOK INSIDE THE EPISODE:
TM: What is parkour and freerunning?
J: Parkour, in its rawest form, is a sport of overcoming obstacles. From the original sense, it is to overcome obstacles, the fastest and most efficient way possible, going over, under or through anything that’s in your path. That sort of then spun itself into more of the action sport style of freerunning, which is more about self expression. It still very much has the fundamentals of parkour. I like to kind of explain it like you can’t do freestyle motorcross if you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle. So your fundamentals of parkour translate into this freerunning mind state. It’s more about self expression, it’s not necessarily just about overcoming obstacles, but it is still attached into that sense of pushing your limit physically, and what your capabilities are, in terms of being precise and different things like that.
TM: How much longer do you see yourself physically out there jumping across buildings?
J: I recently declared, I’m done. I’m retiring from parkour. But not from doing parkour. I think that was the thing I wanted for so many years and I’ve been doing it now for almost 16 years. So much of that time, like you see in my documentaries and on my website, I really appointed myself as this like, leader of the sport and not like, I’m number one in the sport, just as someone who wanted to take it and make it better than it was and get more people interested in it and get more eyeballs on it. That took a lot of work and it took a lot of resources and energy. It really was like parkour was my baby. I wanted to watch it grow into the best version it could be. So before we left for this trip, I pretty much said, I’m retiring from that position, my self-appointed leadership position because I now have someone else I need to take care of and I want to see where else this world is going to take me. Like I said, my expectations were never to be “the Tony Hawk” and the main guy in the sport, who continues to be that guy. I wanted to be “the Tony Hawk” within that moment. I wanted people to look at me and go like, that’s the guy that everybody knows from the sport, but I don’t need that to last my lifetime. I want to see what the next thing I’m going to be “the Tony Hawk” of. Is there something that inspires me to go as hard as I did into making parkour my life and just see what else is out there. So again, releasing the expectation of it all and just kind of like what’s next? I don’t know.