Skateboarding meant so much to me for a long time. To this day, I feel an attraction to it. I enjoy watching skaters do their thing and learn new tricks and try pushing themselves further. I still have a skateboard and on occasion take it to the street and mess around, however falling hurts a bit more than it used to!
Skateboading has taught me so many life lessons that I often don’t realize how important it was forming me into the person I am today.
The most important thing I’ve learned is perseverance. This trait continues in my writing, how I train to run, and with my family and work.
When trying a new trick for the first time, failure is expected. Most likely I’d fall because my weight wasn’t balanced correctly or I was at the wrong angle. No problem. I’d pick myself back up and try again with the knowledge gained from failure. Of course I didn’t always do the trick correctly after that first failure. But I’d learn from each mistake, get back up, and try again, tweaking my approach to the trick until I got it right. I’d learn how to fail (and reduce the pain of it) and try harder to get it right.
This approach has informed my life in powerful ways. I fail at writing. I fail at running. I fail my family and work. But what I learned from skating is that I can reduce the pain of those failures and learn from them. When I fail, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and improve.
Failure is a sign that I tried. I can’t fail if I don’t try something I’ve never done before. Getting rejection letters from editors only serves to teach me I need to improve my craft. Getting a slower time in a race teaches me I need to train harder to get faster. But all of these failures mean I’m trying. It means I see a goal and I’m reaching for it.
I doubt any other activity would’ve made such a lasting impression as skateboarding has on my life. It’s something I lean on every single day as I seek to improve myself.