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High: 68 Winds: WSW 8-12 mph
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy and calm.
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Sunday: Mostly sunny, nice and warm!
High: 65 ...
SPECIAL REPORT: High-Flying Sport Parkour Grows in Miami Valley
SPRINGBORO -- Most kids know about parkour and free running from a simple YouTube search. You'll find hundreds of videos with millions of views where free runners are flying off of anything and everything, and most of the time they stick the landing.
"Parkour is getting from one place to another as creatively and efficiently as you can," said Dustin Hayes, 15, who has been doing parkour for a few years and has posted a few videos himself.
"I'm trying not to impress people with it," said Dustin. "It's just a passion for me. It's fun, I like thrills, anything that will give me a thrill I will do."
Dustin and his friend, Zach Harrah, are always looking for the next place to parkour.
"It's just fun to do. If I see an element that I could do something off of I'm just like, 'Oh I can go do a back-flip or a front-flip off of that'," Zach said. "Most people can't do that."
But with so much freedom in these free runs, we had to ask if they worry about their safety.
"I say it's dangerous depending on how much you're doing and how much experience you have," said Zach.
"If you're a person that doesn't have a lot of common sense and you are just going to go out and jump off a two-story building with no practice or anything you're probably going to hurt yourself," said Dustin. "It's as dangerous as football I would say."
Dustin says he used to do dangerous stunts.
"I used to give my mom heart attacks every time I did something," he said.
But his parents convinced him to stay within his lane.
"He started pulling up YouTube videos and things like that and he started imitating that in the backyard and he would go to parks and then we started finding videos that he and his buddies were making and posting on YouTube," said father Chris Hayes. "He is fearless but we have to encourage his safety as well. Part of me as a parent wants to say 'I don't think this is a good idea please stop' but he's also very talented so we continue to have a discussion with him about what is safe what isn't safe and how to respect public property."
Dustin's parents say they like to take him to Hand 2 Hand Gym in Springboro. They offer classes for freestyle gymnastics.
"It's very high risk and it is a bit scary but we see his love for doing things like this so we just want to help him learn to do it responsibly and safely," mother Lisa Hayes said.
Hand 2 Hand based its classes on an AAU freestyle acrobatics program.
"You have the b-boy break dance you have martial arts tricking, you have jumping from item to item," said coach George Jessup. "You have some traditional gymnastics and tumbling and you have bars."
"The national AAU competition originated in Ohio and coach Jessup hopes to get his guys trained enough to compete against the country's best.
"They see it on YouTube instead of just trying to throw it and do it and then finding out after they crash it's hard, to actually learn the developmental steps," said Jessup.
As Dustin's parents watch him from afar.
"The flips and the jumping, he enjoys that and we enjoy watching him enjoy it," said Hayes.
Dustin tries to defy gravity. He says there's only one way to get good.
"Lots of time practice and injuries, you have to learn how to land on your head," he said.
Dustin says besides some scrapes and bruises and some trips to the chiropractor he's been able to stay relatively healthy.
Click here to learn more about the AAU freestyle acrobatics program and how you can compete.
Miami Valley Crime StoppersIf you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
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