I hate walking away from a skateboarding trick. That's why my poor friends in high school used to watch me try tricks sometimes 100+ attempts before landing it, and usually I'd make them videotape most of them. (If any of you are reading, sorry...) I'm not as bad about that as I used to be, but I still have a lot of trouble walking away, and yesterday was one such instance.
I had arrived at a bank spot at a nearby school, and was just messing around to see if I could get anything for a video I'm working on (Skater Dad: the movie). In my head I saw an impossible body-varial/ 360 shuv-it-kind-of-thing, and so I tried it. And landed it!! First try! Awesome, now it's time to break out the camera, shoot it and move on.
About fifty tries later, I still hadn't landed the trick and was yelling things like, "This is so dumb!" and "Skateboarding is stupid!" I immediately felt bad about that last one and apologized to my board; but the fact of the matter was that my frustration level was peaking over a simple skateboard trick, worsened by the fact that I had already landed it and, for some reason, could not duplicate the move.
In moments like these, I tend to become very introspective, asking myself questions like, "Why is this so important to me?" and "Why can't I just walk away and go home?" I also considered the old adage, you learn more from your failures than your successes, but I'm still not sure if that applies to skateboarding...
As I look back at this moment, and hundreds of other frustrated skate sessions, I believe the reason I incessantly attempted tricks was because the glory of having them captured on video, to be later edited into masterpiece skate films titled Skate Fast, Live Slow and Don't Get Bored, was worth the frustration. But why? So I can show my friends and have them say, "Hey, you're pretty good at skateboarding," only to never again watch the work of art I had poured so many hours into, so much blood and sweat?
Or is it simply the personal satisfaction of creating something I'm proud of? If you could get into my head during the middle of one of these endless attempts at a trick, making your way past the mild obscenities and self-doubt, you would find an image of me landing said trick, and then something like, "It'll be so cool when I land that." But the physical evidence, the video footage of such a trick, is still crucial to me, because even if I were to land it with no camera in sight (which happened on this day), I would vow to myself afterward to make my way back to shoot it; proof to the world, or maybe myself, that I was indeed as accomplished as I set out to be at that moment in the world of skateboarding.
And so, on that fateful day, as the sun set and the memory card of my camera filled, with fatigue and an injured foot to show for it, I walked (hobbled) away. Partially due to frustration, partially due to fatigue (I'm not 17 anymore), but mostly because I told my wife I'd be home by 7:30 and it was way past that...
You see, at the end of the day, my priorities have changed, and now skateboarding is no longer the end-all, be-all of my life (I'm not sure it ever was, but definitely had a spot in the top-5). So when I can't land a trick and frustrations level rise, I must remember that that stress is merely taking hours off of my life, which is full for so many, many other reasons.
Sometimes I make the trick, and sometimes I don't. But no matter what, I have a loving wife and child back home waiting for me, and that's better than any skate video I could make.
(I really am working on a skate video by the way...trailer below! You can trust though, that maturity has made it a slightly less stressful video shoot than prior years. Enjoy!)