Photo by Flickr user Nick K
Photo by Flickr user Nick K

Parkour is the art/sport/pastime that involves jumping off of buildings, fences, and other obstacles. (If that sounds silly to you, check out these videos and prepare to have your mind blown.) If that looks like the sort of thing you’d like to spend your time doing, you’re in luck:  Baltimore is about to get its very own parkour-centric gym.

In place of treadmills and elliptical machines, a parkour gym has walls and doors and windows and columns and ledges — pretty much anything you can imagine yourself jumping on, through, or out of. Training develops strength, range of motion, endurance, bone density, joint alignment, and structural efficiency — plus, it looks really cool.“It’s just scary enough that you’re thinking about being scared and in pain, but not so scary that you don’t want to do it,” one parkour-ist told the New York Times.  And kids like it because it lets them feel like a character in a video game.

Urban Evolution already has a few outposts in the DC area, but this Baltimore facility will be its biggest yet — in fact, it’ll be the biggest parkour gym on the East Coast. Along with parkour classes, the gym’s other branches teach things like rope climbing, aerials, and obstacle course training. And it’s celebrating its opening day (next Saturday, August 17) with a ceremony and a bunch of free classes — including a 2 hour “introduction to parkour.”

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