Although he’s done his fair share of boulder-scaling and streetscape leaping and dodging, Evitt says it’s much more than that thrill-seeking cliché. It’s literally changed his perspective, how he sees and interprets things. And it’s social but not competitive, and also is about fitness and perseverance, as well as overcoming obstacles both in the physical world and in the mind, he said.
“It’s being strong to be useful,” said Evitt, whose training also includes the Brazilian martial art capoeira, dance, and weight lifting.
An active kid involved in soccer, swimming, and tennis while growing up in Somerville, he discovered parkour as a French major at Davidson College in North Carolina. He later researched and wrote about it, and in 2010 was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation to travel and study parkour as an “agent for positive social change.” He’s spent the last 2½ years traveling to numerous countries and training with members of the Yamakasi, the group who initially developed parkour.
Eventually, he’d like to get into performance with dance studios, circus troupes, and other acts, he said, and ultimately foster more of an exchange between the United States and Europe.
For the short-term, though, the goal is to expand classes to numerous areas beyond Somerville, and to add another instructor. Similarly, Parkour Generations Americas, a London-headquartered company, intends to begin running certification classes over the next few months, Evitt said.
“People are getting addicted faster than I expected.”
Taryn Plumb can be reached at email@example.com.