My first passion was skateboarding. It started when I was around 13years old and kept with me until I was around 17. I was very passionate about it and just like you're first love, it was probably my first real obsession. And this period of my life was a critical time where I between I became an adult.
This time of my life allowed me to learn important lessons about life. Of course, I'm not suggesting everyone should skate, but for me those lessons are still helping me to this day.
Lesson 1 : Will power
First of all, let me explain what the goal is. Skateboarding is a very unique sport where in fact there are no rules, except for gravity. No referee telling you about whatever you did wrong or not. In anything you do, your will power has to come from inside to be fully satisfied. Skating was a true fundamental desire that was internal (and not pushed on me through society or my parents).
In anything you do, your will power has to come from inside to be fully satisfied.
Lesson 2 : Stand up after you fall (aka as Grit and hardwork)
Skating is hard, period. I could try a trick for hundreds of times. I don't remember how long it took me to Ollie, but it was probably a few months. Same for kickflips or any more advanced tricks.
I was able to use this skill and the concept of hardwork and apply to different aspect of my life. Sometimes you don't feel like doing something, but the joy of accomplishment needs to take over the laziness.
There's a good quote from Micheal Jordan:
The more I practice, the more I feel lucky.
Lesson 3: Don't think too much (and meditate)
Skating is a very demanding activity and you need to have a full focus, otherwise you are not able to perform (which will lead to a fall and hurt yourself). This was probably my first introduction to meditation and visualization.
For example, everytime you're about to try a new trick (such as jumping a set of stairs with a new trick), you would need to take a long deep breath before. You would have to tame your fears, clear your mind and then go full in. If you go in with doubts, you would fall. It's all or nothing.
Lesson 4: Good fallers fall less.
This is applies for both physically and mentally. If you fall often, you get use to it. I have experience so many falls when skating and yet, it never hurt as much as it looked to. There was the state of mind that helped (such as stoicism which expects some failures). And my body was also trained to support such falls.
Lesson 5: Risk of pain is joy
Why did I do it?
Just like for the same reason there are still many things I do to this day. It's about this feeling of accomplishment, or pushing the limit of what is possible to do.
It's not for pleasure, this I can tell you for sure. Skating is all about balancing pain and fear. You can fall a lot and what determines if you fall is your fear. As you become better, you soon realize that everything you do, just like in your life, is based on what is in your head. Fear is all a construction in your head.
Skateboarding is now becoming an olympic sport. It might seem exciting, and it is great for the sport, no doubts about it.
But skating has been part of the counter culture, where it is not about harmonizing things for everyone. It's more a celebration of individualism and uniqueness.
Lesson 6 : Keep your balance
Even if skating was my passion, I quickly learn there was a diminish return in terms of effort. If I go and skate (hard) for a straight 8 hours,at some point my body couldn't take it anymore. Even if I tried really hard, I needed to rest, so I can continue the next day.
As a reader of this blog, we sometime don't understand how people behave. The purpose of this blog is gain a free-er life and achieve true financial independence. But financial independence is especially a state-of-mind, which is not thought out in school. Personnally, skating helped me get closer to it (than any other organized sport). I could figure out for myself what was best for me.
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