The Zen of Skateboarding
I have to write a post about how much I truly love skateboarding and everything that it has taught me. I'll preface by saying that I'm not a great skateboarder by any means. I have the basic tricks down, but I'm far from an expert. I've loved skateboarding for a long time, but it's this naivety that allows me to be so happy if I land a trick.
I went skating today down my local street and ran into a friend who also skates. We're about equal in skill level so we tried to jump (ollie) over some curbs. The curb in the video below was fairly high and had a patch of grass that we were trying to land on. I kept rolling up to it, trying to ollie onto the grass, but I couldn't commit to the jump.
In skateboarding of any level, it's all about psychological commitment. There's a moment right before you do something where you say: "I'm going to land this or I'm going to bail." And this moment of clarity is extremely zen. It took me a while to build up the guts to jump over the curb. And when I finally landed one, I realized that I could roll through the grass onto the sidewalk. Also, once you land a trick, it's as if a switch is turned in your brain and you feel like you could land it anytime you want.
The satisfaction that consumes me when I land a trick is based on the fact that skateboarding is scary. Even doing a small trick like this one in the video is terrifying. There's something so rewarding about conquering small fears. I also feel it more deeply because I'm at a low level of skill with skateboarding.
As for painting, I still find satisfaction in my work, but it's harder and harder to come by. And with painting, it's also more of a drawn out process with no physical prowess involved.
For a guy like me, I need the yin and yang balance between skateboarding and the sedentary pose of painting. In some ways I learn more about painting by skateboarding and more about skateboarding by painting. I hope to do both for a long time.
6/29/2020 03:50:35 pm
I resonated with the part where you mentioned psychological commitment and achieving the zen state.
6/29/2020 05:03:06 pm
Glad to share
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