At The Monkey Vault in Toronto, a 12-year-old girl leaps over a pile of foam blocks, runs up a ramp, slips horizontally through a set of bars, and lands safely on the floor.
It may sound smooth and easy, but she fell the last three times she tried, so doing it without a mishap is a good accomplishment. For the last three hours, she has been practicing the basics of a sport called parkour.
Parkour is a type of non-competitive sport that involves running, jumping, and balancing to complete obstacle courses that can be made of anything from pits, fences and bricks, to walls, ramps, and gates.
The basics of parkour, which she and seven other girls were practicing that morning, are simple. They walked forward and backward, trying not to bump into each other—and giggling when they did. They somersaulted over and over, eventually getting too dizzy to keep rolling, and then they practiced walking on all fours—on their hands and feet at the same time, like an orangutan.