I am taking public speaking class this semester and our first assignment was to give a short 1 to 2 minute speech on a person, thing, experience or place that has influenced you. I figured a lot of my classmates would pick people or experiences so I decided to pick an thing. The one thing that has had to most influence on my life… is skateboarding. Yes that’s right…skateboarding.
Took this shot yesterday morning of my skateboard’s wheels. I like how you can see the orange paint chipping off the sides. Oh and here is the speech I wrote for class. I revised it a tad bit for this post haha.
One of the biggest influences in my life is skateboarding. Now you might be saying to yourself, it’s just a stupid piece of wood on wheels, how could that be a big influence? By the time you are done reading this, you might have understand a little bit better, what skateboarding means to me. I picked up my first skateboard at the age of about 11 or 12 years old. I started off skateboarding around in my driveway, just learning the basics. About a month after I started skating, I got to go to the skatepark for the first time. My mom probably had to drag me out of that place at the end of the day. I was addicted to skateboarding. I started going to the skatepark as much as possible so I could keep learning and improving. It doesn’t matter what tricks you can or can’t do, what matters is that you love doing it. In the words of professional skateboarder Lance Mountain, “Riding a skateboard does not make you a skateboarder. Being unable to stop riding a skateboard is what makes you a skateboarder.” I don’t think I could have said it any better myself. I still love skateboarding just as much today, at this very moment, if not more than I did when I first began learning how to skateboard. It has taught me patience as well as how to push myself. You go out with the idea that you are going to learn a new trick. Sometimes you get it within minutes, but other times it might take days of trying with no success. You fall on the ground over and over until you are bruised and bloody and then get back up in complete frustration. That’s the important part though. You have to get back up to try that one last time. Because when you finally do get the trick you have been trying for a few minutes, or a few days, the feeling is indescribable. Skateboarding has taught me to challenge myself, and has taught me how to overcome obstacles. It has helped me seek out new places and people. I have gone on spontaneous road trips just for the sake of finding new things to skate and I have met all kinds of different people, with different backgrounds and stories through skateboarding. Ever since picking up a board when I was a little kid, skateboarding has shaped the way I look at things and has given me a whole different perspective. Hopefully you all understand a bit more now, why skateboarding is an important influence in my life.