Just keep trying. If I hit a wall, I will keep going until I finally master something, that’s the trick!
It’s a common saying, that when you put your heart and soul into something, you’ll create success. UG’s rising parkour superstar, Leo Harris, is showing us all how this is done.
Age? It’s just a number. At just 12 years old, Leo first set foot in Underground Gym and began exploring the world of calisthenics and parkour, embarking on an incredible journey that has taken him from strength to strength.
In just two years, Leo’s speed, agility, accuracy and fearlessness has got everybody talking and the UG team are really excited to see what the future holds for this lad. We caught up with Leo to find out what drives him to continue succeeding in this gnarly, high energy sport.
What inspired you to start Parkour?
My dad told me about some of the junior classes at UG and took me to the gym so I could check them out. I first started trying the callisthenics class run by Aslan Steel and Dom which was a great way for me to build up my strength and focus. I then caught sight of the Parkour classes and recognised the Parkour teacher Callum Storror from YouTube and couldn’t wait to get started.
How often do you train?
I go to classes at Underground Gym every Saturday and I’ve also joined some of UG’s students and teachers at the outdoor classes held by a Parkour/Freerunning group in Brighton. Now I’m training at least three times a week and practicing whenever possible.
What’s the most fun you’ve had with Parkour so far and how long has it taken for you to start doing the riskier stuff?
I’ve really enjoyed outdoor training with the Curve freerun group, most of the people taking part are around the same age as me. We have been filming parkour at different spots in Brighton and I’ve been trying out some pretty scary stuff with them recently. The outdoor stuff gets quite adventurous! Luckily, I haven’t experienced any serious injuries. I’ve had a couple of twisted ankles but that doesn’t put me off going to my weekly classes.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned so far?
Just keep trying. If I hit a wall, I will keep going until I finally master something, that’s the trick! Lots of people come along to the classes once or twice and then don’t come back but this sport is all about persistence and commitment. It’s so rewarding when you stick it out and conquer any challenges you face. It’s addictive.
What does parkour represent for you?
A fun community where you can increase your strength and focus. You get to be outdoors, get fit, network and connect with likeminded people. Parkour is amazing for mental and physical training and Brighton is a great city for it. I met most of my friends in the Curve freerun group.
Who are your mentors?
Callum Storror and Jai Battrick who have both taught classes at Underground Gym in Brighton, they are pretty big in the YouTube world. Callum has been a huge inspiration to me; he’s helped me stay committed to training every single Saturday.
What are your goals for this year?
My main goal is to continue overcoming my fears, working harder than ever before and training as much as possible. There are loads of great Parkour comps around the world but these are for over 16s so that is definitely a big goal of mine for the future.
What’s been the best thing about discovering parkour?
The networking and community. I have made so many friends by taking up this sport. It’s great fun and so fulfilling to be a part of the parkour world, I get to engage in great conversation with those who love parkour as much as I do.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start?
Go to the class and stick at it, you’ll fall in love with it if you persevere. All the parkour members help and teach each other to keep going so just get involved, mingle and get to know the other class members.