We’re introducing AEO Flex/Denim, an innovative new denim technology that moves with you in three different levels of flexibility — Core, Active, and Extreme — and we wanted to really put it to the test. So, we partnered with the amazing athletes of WFPF to showcase the revolutionary versatility of these jeans and what you can do in them. We featured three parkour athletes in our latest Flex/Denim video and were so impressed by their talent that we wanted to get to know them a little more. Read on for our first interview with Max Henry.
AEO: Who are some of your heroes, and they do not have to be athletes?
MH: I have a lot of heroes! Most of them are fictional (lol) but as far as actual human beings go…I’m a big reader, so I have a lot of respect for my favorite authors and poets (J.R.R. Tolkien, T.S. Eliot, Jim Butcher, E.E. Cummings, and C.S. Lewis to name a few). I’m also quite into music, particularly bluegrass and hip-hop, so I’d call people like Shad (Shadrach Kabango) and Noam Pikelny heroes as well. And of course my mom and dad on the day-to-day level for always being there for me and encouraging my strange jumping habits!
AEO: When did you become interested in Parkour?
MH: I found out about parkour through my best friend when I was 14 and started training later that day. I haven’t stopped since then so I suppose I’ve been interested since 2007. When I was really young I did gymnastics and constantly jumped around on everything I could see so I guess you could also say I’ve been into it even longer than that. I just didn’t know it had a name!
AEO: How much time do you spend practicing in a week?
MH: It depends on lots of variables but in the summer I try and train 5-6 days a week for a few hours a day. When you’re traveling and teaching it can be hard to stay consistent with it but ultimately it’s what I’m most passionate about so I always find it pretty easy to make time for training! But in the winter I usually go into hibernation mode and focus more on strength development through olympic lifting and other forms of cross-training. So it’s very seasonal!
AEO: What was your favorite part about shooting the AEO Flex Video?
MH: I had a really great time shooting the video so it’s hard to say! But the best thing to me was probably the general sense of camaraderie between everyone on set. It’s always great to work with people who are passionate about a project but also flexible and open to collaboration. It really seemed like everyone on set was willing to listen to other opinions to try and create the best video possible. That kind of atmosphere has been really rare in my experience, and was amazing to be a part of! The scenery was also really amazing.
AEO: What was the most dangerous Parkour move you’ve done to date? Any injuries?
MH: Well, I definitely try to keep the danger level down in my own training since being injured takes away from the time I can practice doing what I love. I’ve done some jumps at height with serious consequences most people would see as being dangerous but since I know my own abilities I wouldn’t say they are particularly dangerous for me! The whole concept of danger is something that’s really subjective, so something that seems life-threatening to someone who’s never done parkour before might seem simple to me because of my training. But yeah, I never go out with the intent of doing jumps I perceive as being dangerous because my own health and safety is ultimately my top priority!
AEO: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
MH: Hmmm…well, I have a B.A. in Mathematics from Hofstra University. I also play banjo and sing baritone part-time with several professional choirs near my home on Long Island. Aaaaand I’m a huge comic and sci-fi/fantasy geek! But if you’ve ever seen me when I’m not training you probably already know that…
AEO: Greatest advice you’ve ever received in Parkour? And any advice for aspiring Parkour athletes?
MH: Fear is something that is always present in parkour when you get to a certain level and can be hard to overcome for a lot of people. But I’ve really learned from some very good friends and fellow athletes to trust my judgement and accept that you never have complete control in any situation. Being able to have faith in yourself and your will and preparation is important in parkour and life in general. Just ask Batman!
AEO: What was your favorite thing about the Flex Denim?
MH: I love how well they stretched and still maintained their fit, which seems super obvious, but is 100% true. I’ve had some other stretch jeans in the past that I’ve tried to train with and after a session or two of heavy training they always turned saggy or ripped. Not so with these bad boys!
AEO: Where else would you wear AEO Flex Denim to?
MH: Well, besides my pair of Flex jeans and some dress pants, my wardrobe consists mostly of sweatpants and basketball shorts so I wear them pretty much everywhere! Church, the mall, restaurants, bus/boat/plane rides…you name it!
AEO: Top 3 songs you are listening to right now?
MH: #1. Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive because I’m in love with Rachael Price.
#2. Tell Me True by Sarah Jarosz because she’s amazing.
#3. Seasons by Chris Cornell because it makes me strong when I squat!
Follow Max’s daily adventures here.