June 15, 2008

Future Career Path

You might remember, or maybe you don't, that Jeremy has an affinity for Ninja Warrior on the G4 Network. I may not have posted about it earlier because I was hoping it was only a phase. Well it's not. He's got me absolutely hooked on it too. Not only me, but Henry and a handful of friends and co-workers as well.

If you're not familiar with the television program (and how could you not be?), let me break it down for you. A bunch of competitors, mostly Asian, mostly extremely in-shape, thin Asians (again) attempt a diabolical obstacle course set over murky water. The stunts they have to perform under the clock test their abilities in jumping, balance, strength and agility.

It has officially become a family tradition on Fridays to pick up sushi and watch two hours of Ninja Warrior at the old Glass household. We are sooo ethnic.

Recently, an American named Levi Meeuwenberg has been appearing on the program. He's a young twenty-something billed as a "Freerunner". Freerunner? What's a freerunner? I was intrigued. I looked into it. There's an entire sport that I didn't even know existed. And it's not one of those made up sports either like street sleding or bmx biking down a ski hill. (Although, I should note that Jeremy believes those are real sports and is continually disapointed when they aren't added as Olympic events)

If you are like me and look up Freerunning, you'll get some random explanation about the athlete using his environment around him and expressing himself through movement and force...yada yada yada.

If I could sum this obscure sport up for you all it would be this: Freerunning is basically what would happen if an agile high school senior got caught smoking in the school's North Parking Lot and had to outrun the Principal. (FYI: The North Parking Lot is where everyone smoked at my school). Just think about that kid running really fast and jumping on and over cars. Jumping over fences and on top of buildings and running through tunnels. Now add a Chemical Brothers CD and a lot more athletic ability and stamina (smoking will most likely impede your lung capacity) and there you have Freerunning. It basically looks like a stunt sequence from The Matrix.

Here's a link to a Youtube clip for Levi Meeuwenburg and his stunts.

Anyway, our little Levi Meeuwenburg, is tearing the Ninja Warrior circuit up. I now heart him so much. (He has dimples!) Week after week, as we watched him clear the first and second stages easily, it dawned on me that Henry would be perfectly suited for Freerunning. He's jumping off tables and couches all day long. He loves to bound up and down the hall and use the walls to position his feet to jump off into the other wall. He's totally ambitious at gymnastics with all the equipment and is often out doing his own stunts.

In Freerunning, they continually say "It is important that the athlete find their own way". The next time Henry's gymnastics coach wants him to step in line with the rest of the class, I'm going to tell her that he's a freerunner just finding his own way.

I'm so serious about this. I can totally see Henners running around with a biking helmet (with sponsors, of course) touring the world and running up the side of famous landmarks. He'll so be in the Summer X-Games and in commercials pimping Powerade or something. You've heard of "stage moms"? Well, I just may be the world's first freerunner mom. I'd be all, "Henry, have you jumped off the roofs of any public buildings today?"

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