Featured Image

Millions of People Follow this Real-Life Tarzan on Social Media, Here’s Why

Leopold Hurbin (also known as Leo Urban on Instagram) is a different kind of outdoor athlete—he spends his days jumping and swinging around on trees. The self-proclaimed French Tarzan and “child of the forest” has a following of more than 2 million people, thanks to his wild and insanely watchable videos, in which he jumps from tree to tree. 

Leo loves the forest and ferociously advocates for the preservation of his favorite place. Growing up in the mountains of Andorra, Leo taught himself how to jump and move like the wild animals he loved so much. He started parkour at 12 years old and was a contestant on Ninja Warrior and Ultimate Beastmaster 2.

We caught up with Leo for a Q&A, and here’s what he had to say.

Outdoors.com: Tell me about your outlook on life.
Leopold Hurbin: I spend most of my time in the forest. As soon as there’s a hint of light, I like to be outdoors. Breathing the fresh air and acclimating to the day’s temperature is essential for me before starting any activity. I don’t have any particular rhythm or schedule driving my day, just like wild animals don’t have any and don’t use a watch during the day. I let myself be guided by what the forest has to offer me; what I manage to perceive then becomes the challenges that present themselves to me. I often evolve in the heights. I feel good there, and it allows me to enter a deeper mode of concentration. My sessions vary from one hour to sometimes six or seven hours.

Outdoors.com: Why do you love parkour and climbing?

Leopold Hurbin: I love parkour and climbing because it gives me a feeling of control, freedom, and accomplishment in life. It’s about exploration, and we all carry that in our genes; when I climb a tree I often push myself to go first, experiencing feelings our ancestors might have felt when they set out to explore the vast world. In our society, it’s a privilege to feel this way.

Outdoors.com: What is your most memorable parkour or outdoor experience and why?
Leopold Hurbin: The first time I saw wild chimpanzees, it was a revelation for me. I had studied their movements through a screen for years, and then suddenly, I could see them in real life and climb with them. It was extraordinary.

Outdoors.com: What is your greatest fear?

Leopold Hurbin: To not be free. 

Outdoors.com: What personality traits contributed to you living your dream life?

Leopold Hurbin: I never gave up. For years, I maintained this passion and motivation and launched myself on social networks to increase my chances and opportunities to make a living from it, and it worked.

Outdoors.com: Tell me about being on Ultimate Beastmaster and Ninja Warrior.

Leopold Hurbin: Being on shows was interesting, but it remains a TV show, and despite its interesting obstacle course, it’s not something for me. There is a lot of waiting, the athletes are not respected by the production. In France, they don’t even pay for the meals for participants. For me, this is unacceptable, because without us there would be no entertainment.

Outdoors.com: What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?

Leopold Hurbin: Many bad things have been said about me. Nobody believed in me, and people mocked me for being different. I was always set apart when I was young, but it didn’t bother me, and I didn’t need anyone’s approval.

Outdoors.com: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Leopold Hurbin: I would love to have dinner with a silverback gorilla.

Outdoors.com: Who inspires you and why?

Leopold Hurbin: Animals and nature. The reality is that they are slowly disappearing from our daily lives, when they should in fact be our reality and our priority.

Outdoors.com: What is your craziest story?

Leopold Hurbin: I have lots of crazy stories! From Chernobyl to some skyscrapers I’ve climbed where I almost died to my adventures in the trees. I share most of my adventures on my socials, but some are secrets, kept only for me.

Outdoors.com: How long do you think it took until you felt you were really able to live the animal life you wanted?

Leopold Hurbin: Some 10 years of research, immersion, motivation, and a lot of passion in the hope of regaining the ease of a primate.

Outdoors.com: What advice would you give someone trying to be their true selves?

Leopold Hurbin: This feeling is unattainable, expecting it without knowing how to disconnect from the city. We need introspection, to be alone. The feeling of freedom cannot be gained in an office or during a weekend party. It is an art that is cultivated up in altitude and in the face of natural forces.

Outdoors.com: What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Leopold Hurbin: The most important lesson that I’m still learning today is patience.

Featured Image

Bizarre Deep-Sea Fish Washes up on Oregon Beach

Featured Image

Rare Moose Attack Claims Alaska Photographer’s Life

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top