Skateboarding is my kids’ passion. They live and breathe trucks, bearings, decks, bushings, and wheels. When they both started (2 out of my 3 sons), they fell constantly. But they watched the older kids tumble and they realized that this was simply part of the game. You just keep trying, first to stay on the board, then to manipulate the deck and land a trick. None of it is easy, but it involves dedication, time and a whole lot of patience.
I take them out to the skatepark and I watch them. When they first started, I wanted to run onto the ramps and pick them back up after every spill. But once I was able to let loose a little bit (granted, they were still fully padded and helmeted…safety first, always), I noticed that there was always someone there to pick them back up. There is this sense of camaraderie that skaters have with one another.
Once they stopped falling, amazing things started to happen. Things like fakies, dropping into the bowl, and getting air all become regular parts of our vocabulary. I started carrying a skate tool in my purse. And you know what else? I stopped judging people. Sure, it was a gradual process but an empowering one nonetheless. When we went to the skatepark located just steps from the Venice Beach boardwalk, I took in the beautiful ocean that acts as the perfect backdrop on a warm summer day. But then I looked around at the heavily tattooed skaters, and wondered how my sons would fit in.
The answer? They stepped up and they were welcomed. There is an image that is ingrained in my memory. My youngest son finally got his turn skating a pretty decent sized bowl and he fell pretty hard. I ran to give him an outstretched arm, but someone had gotten to him first. It was the same man that I noticed when I first came into the park…heavily tattooed and pierced. All my son saw was an outstretched arm, and someone offering him a hand.
We have been to numerous skateparks in various neighborhoods and all of them have the same feeling: if you’re willing to try, you’re in. It’s a great feeling. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how expensive your deck is, or how new your shoes are but it’s all about your heart.
Let that be a lesson for all of us.
(All of the images shown here were shot by B. Rodriguez Photography…pure talent)
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It Doesn’t Matter How Big You Are 1 of 4Age really doesn't matter when you skate. There are three year olds that can shred. You have to be willing to work.
You Just Need Patience 2 of 4Tricks take time, but there is nothing like landing your first trick in front of your entire family, your skate family.
And a Little Determination 3 of 4Don't give up. Keep at it. Believe in yourself, because you can do it.
And a Whole Lot of Heart 4 of 4Trust yourself and have faith in your friends. You are all going to drop down that ramp and it is going to feel ridiculously good.
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