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Lessons From My Skateboard

July 22, 2018

 

When I felt the magic of pushing around on a skateboard for the first time, I became addicted. I fell instantly in love, mostly because I felt the same unique freedom snowboarding has given me since I was a kid. That incredible feeling of happiness transferred. I thought about that feeling every day for weeks after pushing around on my friend’s board, just itching to get back on and learn to get better. I finally bought my own board. The challenge of learning to skate was calling me for sure. I started skating daily, waking up super early to get to the park before anyone else to push around at my own pace. I’d skate often with my friends, and that just added to this amazing new experience.

 

Although I was so determined and focused on pushing myself to ride better every day, I didn’t realize how life changing skating would really be. Most lessons I’ve learned from my time skating have enhanced experiences I already possessed, such as taking risks everyday, getting out of my comfort zone, and blindly following my passions. Although, beginning my journey skateboarding has also allowed me to think broader and feel things I hadn’t really felt before. Here are some of those things.

 

Full Commitment

 

Being half pregnant in anything in life will be the ultimate indicator you just won’t succeed long term. For me, skating forced me to overcome the obstacles, hard falls, and doubts I had in successfully learning and progressing my riding. Fully committing to the desire of learning and progressing made it easier to push through the days my balance was just totally off, or fell way too many times. Without commitment, there’s a good chance you’ll end up giving up once things get difficult. Especially in the beginning of learning something new, you’ll likely fail over and over. Once you decide to fully commit and go all in, the basics will become easier. Commitment led me to try harder, dedicate more time and energy, and feel determined to progress my skating, even if it was at a slow pace. I also used to never be an early morning person, but my determination and commitment to skating allowed me to wake up super early to welcome almost every day with a skate sesh, of course if the weather was on our side. Now, waking up early has become a daily habit for me, whether skating or not, it has transferred into my every day routine.

 

Life is a Mental Game

 

Life is an inside game. What you tell yourself in your mind is what your reality is going to become. The mental game concept overlaps in many area of life. Feeding our minds negative thoughts such as, “I can’t do it”, “This is too hard”, “I’m not good enough” will become the reality in skating and life. Instead, I slowly learned to switch my mindset to “I can do it if I just do it”, “if another person can do this, so can I”, and “I am good enough to at least attempt this”. Skating revealed to me super quickly if my mindset was on point with positivity and confidence, I often would succeed. Going the extra mile, and pushing myself past tiredness, or eliminating excuses I made up in my head to not to try, opened up a clarity to just “do”. Overcoming fear was a big indicator on the mental game as well.

 

Overcoming Initial Insecurity

 

Feeling insecure about myself never occurred to me or is something I have ever really felt until I started skateboarding. Although I absolutely loved skating, falling, learning, and putting myself out there, I felt pretty little inside anytime I skated around other people. When I was first beginning, I still consider myself as a beginner for sure, the skate park was a super intimidating place. I couldn’t glide through the park and have a perfect line. I couldn’t even do one trick, let alone know how to even attempt something. Whenever we start or try to learn something new, obviously we are not the best at it. I used to have constant thoughts of “who am I to show up to a skate park when I’m not even good” or I constantly would fear intruding on someone else who knew what they were doing. 95% of the time I would show up alone to the park as well, which didn’t help my confidence. I was and still am super thankful when a friend and I skate together, it’s so empowering. I overcame this insecurity by forcing myself to just go. To feel out what it was like to be in the middle of a bunch of skaters and ease the nerves I had. The best way I overcame this was to literally throw myself into where I felt the most uncomfortable. Of course I’d get comments and weird looks for not being a good skater, but slowly a lot of nice people would give me tips on learning or encourage me. It felt good, less intimidating. After so many times of throwing myself into the situation of showing up to different parks, I realized I had every right to also be there too. I also realized there was absolutely no way I was going to progress or feel happy skating if I just avoided the skate park. My determination and commitment to skating forced me to overcome this. Skating made me too happy to give up because I was afraid of being a bother to others. Now, I can sometimes feel uneasy but I reassure myself it’s okay, and that I am just trying to have some fun!

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2017-2019 UNCONVENTIONAL NATURE | BY: NATALIE MACPHEE