Took the skateboard out for a spin yesterday. It ended up hailing— In Santa Barbara! (And for those of you unfamiliar with SoCal climate— this is a big deal) so I can say I considered myself lucky to not be super good at skating because I didn’t get too far from the house.
Because it has been a while since I have last updated you, this is where I am at with my learning journey.
Cons so far: Something I am struggling with, and maybe one of y’all can help me out is the whole one-leggedness of it all. One leg does all the heavy lifting while the other steers the ship. I have dreams of half of my body bulking up to the status of Popeye while the other half of me remains. The mechanics of it all is far from intuitive or efficient to me. And while I am on the confusion train, what is so ‘goofy’ about what foot I choose to put first?
Additionally, I have something I refer to as my ‘hobby corner’ where every old hobby I once cherished has gone to fade into obscurity. I have exercise equipment, jars from a sourdough baking endeavor, fake flowers from a photography phase and pieces of wood I was going to get around to painting. It is hard to imagine my skateboard will one day end up there, but I know that for me, like most people, the most challenging part of trying something new is assimilation which is the key to keeping my skateboard out of the corner. New interests are hard but engaging for me out of the gate and then my life takes over and they are the first to get dropped. So what I have been interested in figuring out, is how do you turn an interest or a hobby into a skill and a lifestyle?
I am beginning to find that the answer to that question is community.
Pros so far: I like to run in the mornings, and at some point in my life someone told me not to look down while you run and I just never have since, which makes me strangely unaware of the terrain of my neighborhood despite the fact that I jog through it almost every day. Skateboarding on the other hand, makes you intimately aware of every single tree root crack in the cement and piece of upended pavement, and also which neighbors gravel driveway spills out onto the sidewalk. You get nods from other ‘skaters’ and you return home with a few scrapes that remind you that learning anything worthwhile isn’t meant to be easy. With all that said, I feel like I am getting a brand new perspective on places that I have otherwise thought I was familiar with. I got tired and sat down in a park the other day that I didn’t even know existed a few blocks from my house. While I may be stumbling through this process figuratively and literally, I can honestly say I have been getting an immense amount of satisfaction (and humbleness) out of the effort I have been putting in.
The other day I was on Zoom and my skateboard happened to be in the background. A friend and colleague of mine says ‘I didn’t know you skate’ to which a past version of myself would have responded with ‘I don’t’. Instead I said ‘Yeah, I am working on it’ which was a) less elf-deprecating and b) earned me an invitation to do some socially distanced skating on the boardwalk next week. I feel like my past interests have lacked this level of immersion and accountability. People, especially in the skating community, are all over the place ready to help lift you up if you are willing to put yourself out there— and fall. Fall a lot. I think that this mindset and has made all the difference in my journey so far and will continue to be the difference between my skateboard ending up in the hobby corner or not.