Firstly, I’ll start off by saying I’m no expert at skating, not even close. I’m just a guy who’s been skating for nearly 3 years (at the time of this writing) I’ve learned a lot and through observation, I’ve noticed lessons that apply outside of skating too.
Some of these lessons can be obtained through other sports/hobbies. Some may be obvious, others not so. The key thing here is experience, I probably had an intellectual understanding of these lessons but: you can know something but until you experience it for yourself, you’ll laugh at the fact that you ever thought you knew it
Anyway, here’s the list:
1.Discipline: I skate when I’m tired, when it’s cold, when it’s raining, when I really don’t want to, when I’m injured, when I have a busy day, I skate every day because I find having discipline in one area leads to discipline in all areas. Discipline helps me to achieve my goals, not just in skating but in life too. Here’s a quick video on the importance of a hobby.
2.Patience: Sometimes it takes me months to learn a new trick, even if I practice every day. Sometimes it takes a few hours. I’ve realised as long as I keep practising, I’ll eventually learn that trick, no matter how terrible I may be at the start.
This applies to life, sometimes what you want takes longer than you thought it would, having patience allows you to wait without stressing out about it, thus your experience while waiting can be positive instead of stressful.
3.Mastery: Again, I’m not even remotely close to mastering skateboarding, but I know enough about the process of getting good at something. I know what it takes and I now have a huge respect for anyone that’s mastered anything. I’ve experienced first hand that mastery of anything does not come easy. But at the same time, I’ve realised it’s just practice and consistency. With enough of this, I believe I can master anything.
4. You Reap what you sow: The more I practice, the better I get, it’s really that simple. The more effort I put in, the bigger the reward. In life, whether it be studying or a task you need to learn, effort is usually correlated with progress. If you want to maximise your results, maximise your effort.
5. My work ethic: The thing with skating, there’s no one telling you what to do. There’s no boss or teacher ordering you around. It’s all on you. I’ve learned when I commit I just don’t stop. I’ve had to start taking breaks when I skate to prevent injuries. I now know what commitment for me looks like, Therefore I can use this to gauge my level of commitment outside of skating.
6. How to learn faster: If you’re learning anything, it’s best to have as little distractions as possible. I used to wear headphones when I started skating but that only slowed down my progress. I’ve noticed focus is the best tool when learning. You may get away with a wayward attention if you’ve mastered the skill because your body can be on autopilot, but if you’re learning, it’s a recipe for disaster, believe me, I have the scars to prove it.
7. Persistence: Skating is 99% failing and 1% success. But I like to think each failure is just a redirection, each failure is actually a success when looked at this way. I’m no longer deterred by failure in anything, I know failing is just an indicator of what not to do. I now know if I keep pivoting and trying, I will eventually hit the jackpot.
8. To get better, level UP: I used to think if you want to get better at something, you have to keep repeating it until you master it. Wrong! From skating I’ve realised this is a slow way to learn. If you want to get better at level 3, practice level 5. It will force you to use the resources you didn’t even know you had and it will make level 3 look like a piece of cake. If you have 1 hour to do something, try and do it in 30 minutes. If you’re shy then go speak in front of large crowds. If you want to get better at lifting 30kg, lift 50kg, I think you get the idea.
9. Pivot: Stagnation is the opposite of happiness. If I carry on doing the same thing for too long, I start to hate skating and no I’m not exaggerating. So I’m usually learning a few tricks at a time, if I get bored of one then I just switch it up. This keeps things fresh and interesting in my mind and prevents me from burning out. This is true in life too, if you’re feeling burnt out, just do something else for a little while, when you come back you’ll be refreshed and more focussed than before.
10. My method: I’m not like most people who want to learn the flashiest tricks straight away. There’s nothing wrong with that but I have the opposite mindset. I like to build on the basics first, get a nice solid foundation if you will. I do this intuitively, I have a keen sense of knowing that your ability to do the complex rests on your ability to do the basics. This is true in life: have a solid foundation in anything that you start, whether it be a skill or relationships; without it, the structure won’t get very high or it will fall, if it tries.
11. My Personality: Skateboarding for me has been a tool for self-discovery. I’ve learned that I’m achievement oriented. My best moments when I skate are when I’m giving my all and when I learn something new. I quickly get bored if I stay at the same level for too long.
Skating for me is also an outlet; It’s a thing where I’m in total control of; no one slows me down or vice-versa. It’s all on me. I love the sense of freedom and independence skating grants me, but most of all, I love the unlimited growth it has. There is always something new to learn.
Learning about myself allows me to know what I like so I can make better choices. Now that I know my drug of choice, perhaps once this phase is over, I’ll pick a less painful way to get my fix. Which leads me to…
12. Pain tolerance: If I had to sum up skating in one word: pain. These days I’m usually rocking multiple forms of injuries from skating. Although I experience a lot of pain, I never suffer.
Life can be painful but suffering is a choice. I’ve experienced this first hand. When I experience acute pain, I just focus on it, I watch it in the third person. I notice the pain is there, but I notice I’m the noticer of the pain, not the pain itself; I’m separate from it. With this knowledge, I don’t become the pain, so I don’t suffer.
I know that I am awareness, and so are you.
In a way, I learn to enjoy it, it’s very stimulating and energising, although, I certainly won’t be inviting it to my party.
Knowing that you are not the pain but the watcher of it is life changing. In life, carrying this perspective all-ways can be difficult but it’s incredibly freeing and with practice, it’s certainly achievable.
13. Use it or lose it: If I don’t practice a trick, I get worse and worse at it. This gets less pronounced the more I’ve mastered the trick but If I’ve just learnt a trick and I don’t practice it enough; I will have to learn it again. This is true in life also, if you neglect things you will lose them; whether it be a skill or relationships, you have to nurture things in order to keep them.
14. Letting go: I used to have goals to learn x trick in x weeks. I noticed sometimes I would go waaaay over. I wanted to learn the kickflip in 3 weeks, it took me closer to 3 months; sometimes it’s the opposite. I’ve realised it’s best to just let go of expectations and just do your best each session.
In life, you’re not really in control of your progress, but you are in control of your process. Don’t focus on the goal, focus on your actions. If you do this, even if you fail, you won’t have regrets because you know you did your best.
Thenks 4 reeding bitchez, peace out xox