Stormy Skate

Rain is the enemy of skateboarding. It rusts your bearings, ruins your trucks, mushes up your board and diminishes your grip tape. It's no wonder why California is the skateboarding mecca of the world -- because it never rains there. Growing up, a rainy day would spell certain disaster on any attempt at a skate adventure. Many-a-times I made plans to hang out at a friends house, certain to skate, and ended up only playing skateboarding video games instead, longingly watching the rain drip sadly down a clear glass pane, like tears down my sad pimply teenage face.

The other day my wife went for a run after work, and then came home and told me I better go skateboarding quick because it was about to rain (I have a good wife). I rushed out the door and into a super windy session at the nearest skatepark to me. It was fun skating in stormy weather, the leaves flying around as the trees were jostled about like broccoli flung across the dinner table by my as long as the rain held out, that is. Which it didn't. I got a few tries on a fakie frontside flip I've been working on, but the ramp quickly got too slick and therefore too dangerous (I am a responsible father, you know).

Though the ramp was wet, a ledge nearby was dry enough to keep skating, and so I did, despite the ground spotting up with rain drops. Actually, the ledge slid better because of the water, so I was all over the place with out of control crooked grinds and wild 50-50s. I was working on a full-length crooked grind to 180 out, and then a frontside nosegrind (those things have eluded me lately), trying desperately to land one before my grip tape changed colors -- a sure sign it is time to leave. Here is a video of what came out of it, just a few shots with a little song I'm also working on.

So why am I wasting internet space (and your time) writing all of this? The whole thing just reminded me of the yonder days, skating no matter what, desperate to land the trick despite the odds. Many times I skated into the dark of the night, soaking wet with sweat and my feet hurting, begging my friends to stick around to keep video taping because I was so close to landing the trick. Those days have slowly disappeared the older I've gotten, but every once in a while they creep up again and remind me of the passion I had, and still have, for skateboarding.

Sure, my body won't hold out like it used to, and I rarely have more than an hour to skate before I have to get back to the girls. But I still love it and am still learning new tricks. In a way, that night's slick session is what this blog is about -- maintaining your passions throughout the changes of life.

Our responsibilities will grow and free time will lessen, but the things that once made you come alive still likely do just that, and so you should keep pursuing them, as long as they don't throw the rest of your life out of balance. Your family will thank you as they have a man or woman of passion to follow, knowing that you are rested and ready for each day, having recharged doing the things you love. I don't think we were designed to totally abandon everything that makes us individuals, just because we become parents. Of course, I write that in knowing that selflessness is a must in parenting; but again, it all must stay in balance.

As I examine all of the arts and actions that interest me, I find that one of my favorite things to do is inspire people to dream and chase after more. More of God, more of life, more adventure, more risk. Our God is too good to not expect more. So try something new today, or pick up something you used to love doing but haven't done in a while. Then let me know how it goes! I hope it's fun, brings you joy and won't break your arm.