by RikkiLynn Shields Social Media Editor
Ariel Salazar, a freshman computer science major from Astoria, NY, isn’t your average freshman walking the campus. Since attending Accepted Students Day, Salazar knew he wanted to attend Manhattan College, not only because of what if offered academically, but also because of what it offered him socially.
“I had always felt comfortable on the campus, in comparison to other institutions. I became convinced that Manhattan College provides great opportunities, during and after my next four years. These opportunities include the five-year B.S/M.S program for Computer Science majors,” Salazar said.
Along with the academic opportunities Salazar plans to take advantage of during his time at Manhattan College, Salazar has also dedicated himself to the practice of parkour and freerunning since 2014.
“Parkour is a disciplinary art of movement in which one uses his or her running, jumping, and climbing skills to surpass obstacles in the environment. Freerunning is the artistic and beautiful version of parkour in which one implements his or her style into the movement. Such forms may include flips, difficulty, fluency, and others,” said Salazar.
Salazar’s interest in parkour was sparked after following different parkour athletes via their Youtube channels and videos. Since discovering the sport, Salazar has been taking advantage of the abundance of obstacles in New York City to execute his moves on and around.
“Before I started training, I would watch parkour athletes on Youtube videos and ask myself, ‘If they can do it, why can’t I?’ I like to practice in a training facility (Brooklyn Zoo) and certain parks located in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. After long hours of training, I have learned to complain less and work harder; parkour/freerunning is my way of life,” said Salazar.
Along with parkour, Salazar also practices speedcubing– a practice that many people may be familiar with– that consists of completing a Rubix cube in its entirety in a matter of seconds.
“In two speedcubing events (Big Apple Spring 2016 and Weston Spring 2017), I had a great experience competing with others and also volunteering to be a judge. Anyone who learns to solve this well-known puzzle quickly, or only the solution, will enhance his or her logical thinking and memorization of algorithms, along with their corresponding cases,” said Salazar.
Salazar believes the practice of parkour, freerunning, and even speedcubing has led him to exactly where he is meant to be.
Salazar said, “I consider my personality to resemble a square; such shape represents neatness, organization, mathematics, and determination. Throughout my entire academic career, I continuously abided by these qualities. These practices have allowed me to figure out what I like to do and what I am good at; those answers have enabled me to choose a path to follow for the rest of my life. Beginning to walk that path is what excites me about completing the next four years at Manhattan College.”