A talk with Parkour Athlete and Content Creator Nick Pro

People all around the world know Nick Provost, the famed YouTuber and parkour athlete that goes by Nick Pro. Whether you are one of the 3.23 million subscribers to his channel or amongst the hundreds of millions that have watched his videos, it is clear to any viewer that he is an extraordinarily talented athlete and entertainer. What many don’t know, however, is the amount of work and determination it took for the Ottawa, Canada resident to go from an average kid to a professional athlete and content creator.

It all began for Nick when he was 14 years old. At the time, he and his friend were looking at videos online and came across one of a Russian Parkour athlete. It was one of the first parkour videos on the internet at the time, and Nick was in love with it. Later that day, they were jumping on his trampoline and he was doing flips off of it onto the grass, a skill that he taught himself. His friend then suggested that he do the trick off of his balcony, and Pro did not think twice. He tried it and landed the risky trick on his first try. He then went to get his camera and they spent the next few hours filming Nick as he did flips through the neighborhood. It was in that moment Nick’s entire life changed, and he has not spent a week without flipping since. 

“In my opinion, to do parkour is to get stronger both physically and mentally. It’s obvious to see why people who do parkour need strength to do certain jumps and flips. But it is essential to get stronger mentally to get over the fear. One of the questions I get asked the most is ‘How do I get over the fear of this trick?’. It’s one of my favorite things about the sport. I have to push both my physical and mental boundaries to be able to learn new tricks, be faster, and jump higher than before,” said Nick.

Initially, Nick began posting videos online to share the tricks he landed with his friends. However, it didn’t take long for him to find a following and he began to wonder if he could turn his hobby into a career. When he hit 10,000 subscribers on YouTube, his dream began to take shape, and he began to post more often with more strategic videos to attract a wider audience. 

“Sometimes I would post four videos a week and I would stay at the gym until 2to3a.m. to finish recording them. It was draining, but I loved it. It was so much fun. Every video was a new experience,” he said. “About 2 years ago, I filmed a video where I recreated the parkour stunts that Deadpool does in the movie. I was on a cruise when it was posted, and I did not have much access to the internet. When I finally checked my YouTube stats on the ship, I was in shock to see the numbers and how well the video was doing.”

Since that time, Nick has become an internet sensation, averaging millions of views on his videos and partnering with major brands, such as Amazon Prime with their hit original show Jack Ryan, and an upcoming video in partnership with the James Bond franchise. 

“It is probably one of the best feelings in the world to me to be able to make money off of something that I truly enjoy doing. I am at a point where I have free time to train parkour every day and then film YouTube videos on days off or even as I am doing parkour. There is also the aspect of inspiring and entertaining my audience that makes me extremely happy. The success is not just about how it impacted my life, but the ones around me and my audience,” said Nick.

Nick’s most successful video to-date is his “Best Wins vs Fails Compilation (Funny Fails)” which has a whopping 62 million views. The three-minute compilation features Nick landing some of his best tricks, but also includes many of him not sticking the landing, something his viewers don’t often see. The result is both compelling and funny, but it shows just how hard-working Nick is. He never lets these failures discourage him, and although it is cringeworthy and brings out some laughs, it is also inspiring.  

“Out of all my videos, this is probably one of the ones that I wanted to succeed the most. For some people, they just spent a few minutes being entertained and probably laughed at me falling a bunch. But to others, they spent those minutes being motivated and inspired. I would hope that most would be motivated to get back up after seeing this video. In most cases, it would be in other aspects of their lives and not parkour. I am happy so many millions of people have seen this video because then it means at least a few of them probably got motivated to overcome their own obstacles in their lives,” he concluded.

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