Nick Faircloth has learned some of his best problem-solving skills while on the UNC Charlotte, though he's never been a student there.
He's a freerunner whose goal is to negotiate physical obstacles in a path as quickly and efficiently as possible, Faircloth regularly meets with a dozen or so other guys to study the brick walls, steep stairs and other architectural features on campus before scaling, leaping and vaulting over them.
He, as well as other members of Charlotte Parkour, the 70-member group of freerunning enthusiasts say the discipline teaches some of life's most valuable lessons, like negotiating obstacles, both physical and mental.
Parkour, the most commonly known name, originated in France and has gained popularity in the Unites States. It is most often seen on college campuses or in urban settings.
N.C. State and Duke universities have parkour clubs, and although it is not officially affiliated with UNC Charlotte, Charlotte Parkour has met on the UNCC campus since 2005. Many of its members met through NCParkour.com, a website that links traceurs from all over the state.
With its mix of buildings, stairs, walls and unique architectural features, campus settings are ideal places to train, said Faircloth. "There are some good spots downtown, but you have to walk anywhere between three and six blocks to get between them," he said."