Meant to be Shared

I've always had this problem when I'm on the cusp of landing new trick, that I keep imagining what it will be like to tell my friends that I landed it. It goes way back to high school, skating my little fun box in the driveway or just trying some flatland trick. It was as if half of the excitement of learning something new was found in telling someone else that you did it, going to school with a, "Guess what I landed last night, guys!"

But even back then it felt kind of selfish or like I was acting like a show-off. Was I just bragging, or did I really just want to share something I was excited about? I usually decided on the first one and fought those feelings, as if they weren't a noble enough reason to land a skate trick.

Here is a clip from our earliest edited skate video, with homemade ramps in my driveway.

Nowadays, this feeling is more about what my Instagram post going to look like, which I'm a little ashamed to admit. Sometimes I'll still text a friend a short clip of something new when I land it, but most of the time it's social media, and I still have to fight off those same thoughts of feeling like a show-off with even the limited engagement I employ.

I had one of these sessions just a few days ago, skating my ramp for the first time since the broken arm, which you can see here (and yes, I posted this on my Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, like the attention-monger I must be).

A timelapse of me resurfacing the ramp, and then enjoying a little skate session afterwards with a new trick (the footplant at the end).

But afterwards, as I was ruminating on these thoughts and feelings that have been present within my favorite hobby of over twenty years, I had a thought: Maybe skateboarding is just something that is meant to be shared.

Sure, there were probably times that I got a little too excited to share my progress with my friends, maybe bragging about something too much, but I think most of the time I just like to share things I'm excited about. It's not unusual of course; we all do it. When we see a great band or movie, we'll probably talk about it at work on Monday. If we make some great art, we won't hide it in a closet or burn it right after it's finished -- no, we'll share it. Maybe even someone will want a copy, or get inspired to create their own art.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. (Luke 8:16)

A year or two ago I realized I felt this way about surfing, as I had done quite a few sessions by myself and, after a great wave, I caught myself looking for my friends to see if anyone saw what had just transpired. Of course no one else was there, or at least no one I knew, and I found myself feeling let down. I just wanted to share the stoke, and so I decided I would take fewer solo surf sessions and aim to paddle out with friends more often.

We live in a world of oversharing, so this will always be a tightrope to walk that is ever-thinning, but I think if our hearts are in the right place about wanting to share things we're excited about, then we run far less a risk of falling.

Just to tie in music a little better, here is a short song I wrote about the pitfalls of oversharing. Just thought I' know...share it?