The Gustavian Weekly

Griffin Hinwood — Off the wall (and any other surface you can think of) | The Gustavian Weekly

By Taymara Williams Staff Writer | September 24, 2010 | Variety

Griffin is one of the founders of the Parkour Club, but is also involved in Break Free, French Club and Pre-Vet Club. Jen Wahl.

Griffin is one of the founders of the Parkour Club, but is also involved in Break Free, French Club and Pre-Vet Club. Jen Wahl.

This small town native has nowhere near a small imagination. Born and brought up for half his life in Canada, Junior Computer Science Major Griffin Hinwood is as well-rounded as they come.

“Griffin is an incredibly unique individual who carries his independent style and thoughts throughout everything he does, whether it is Parkour, break dancing or simple day-to-day activities,” Junior Ben Bickel said.

Griffin moved to Colfax, Wisc. in the seventh grade, where he attended a small school that included grades kindergarten through 12th.

Griffin’s reason for choosing Gustavus is quite simple.Since he is from a small town, to him, Gustavus Adolphus College is a large school at only 2500 students. Griffin refers to his hometown as a “village” with a population of 1000 people.

“I chose Gustavus because being in small schools most of my life, the student population seemed like a lot to me, so you can only imagine what a school of 40,000 would be like,” Griffin said. “Plus liberal arts is a cool experience. I’ve taken classes I would have probably never taken, such as Buddhism, which I am studying now, and jazz dance,” Hinwood said.

Here on the hill, Griffin makes the best of his college experience. In fact, he is one of the founders of Parkour Club. In addition to Parkour, he is a member of Break Free, French Club and Pre-Vet club. He also hopes to study abroad in the spring in a French speaking country, so he can become more confident with the language.

“Anybody who comes to Gustavus and tries to be a good ‘Gustie’ in the sense that they push their boundaries and live outside their comfort zone by trying new things, meeting new people and making new friends; that person deserves to be Gustie of the Week,” Griffin said. “I try to do just that.”

His greatest inspirations are his parents. “Seriously, my parents have taught me lots of things, and they are forgiving.It’s nice to have people you can lean on when you need to,” Hinwood said.

Parkour first piqued Griffin’s interest his senior year in high school when he presented Parkour as his final presentation. That summer he started trying some of the moves and when he got to Gustavus with his cousin, who was also interested in Parkour. They decided, along with two others, to further the practice and find others who shared the same interest.

“By definition, Parkour means using your body to get from point A to point B in the most efficient manner, examples being running, jumping, crawling or swimming,” Griffin said. “It is not jumping from building to building as the media portrays.”

Since the birth of the Parkour Club, they have seen continued growth in membership. They meet several times a week for conditioning as well as “playing” around with the movements. It’s all about progression, so whether you are a beginner or a very experienced Parkourist, the club provides a place for everyone to grow.

His motivation for Parkour Club is the people. He enjoys the practices where they all get a chance to feed off each other’s ideas. They help each other get to the next level regardless of what level that might be.

“Griffin is … well … he’s Griffin. That’s probably the trait I admire most about him, his ability to always be true to himself. That and his crazy ability to leap buildings in a single bound! Okay, well maybe that was a stretch, but he’s no doubt one of the best movers I’ve known. I’m jealous of all the Gustavus Traceurs in G.A.P.S that still get to regularly train with him!” Gustavus Alumni ‘10 and former founder/member Joel Howard said.

Griffin had a few words of advice to share for the students of Gustavus: “Life is not an emergency, it’s an adventure, and everyone should take the time to appreciate that they are here, that they have good and bad experiences. I hope they keep learning from those [experiences] and stay positive,” Griffin said.