The Relentless Few. By Aaron Hobgood.
When it comes to skateboarding and its culture, there are many misconceptions about who we are. In my many years, I’ve come to learn and realize that we are some of the most diverse humans that walk this earth; all brought together through the mutual love and passion that we have for a toy. For most of us, We have no other connection to those in our lives, even our own families and through this toy; we’ve become part of something that is greater than ourselves. We serve a purpose greater than our own.
Through being active in the community as a skateboarder and teaching skateboarding, I’ve met so many people (both older and younger than I) and its a constant reassurance that the future generations will flourish when it is needed for them to. There are two important lesson that I try to pass on to all of the kids. The first one is “Failure is the special ingredient in the soup for success.” Rather than being viewed a negative experience, it needs to be embraced and celebrated.” In this era of instant gratification, I have watched too many beat themselves up because in their eyes, they’ve failed if their outcome or goal has not been reached right away. We will fail 1000 times before they succeed once and as a result of their failures, we learn persistence. No matter what it is, practice makes persistence, not perfection. If you know anything about skateboarding, it is more failure
than it is success and I think thats what makes skateboarders some of the most powerful people to walk this earth. While most have breakfast, We’re feverishly checking the weather reports for those special words (Partly Cloudy, 0% precipitation). While most are walking through the park on a sunny day, We’re on a mission scouting out our next conquest. We’re packing up all of our camera gear, snacks, and taking to the streets on our skateboards. While most sleep, We’ve spent our time struggling to string together a weird series of sub-movements into a four second successful trick; all of the hard work, blood, sweat, tears and broken boards adds up to the biggest win of the day.
The second important lesson is this: “Be the inspiration to others that I have been to you.” We’re often seen as degenerates, troublemakers, sometimes even as a problem to the general public but i want the world to see us for who we actually are. The community we have built based on becoming okay with failure, being persistent and supporting one another is something we all can take from. The persistence that reigns on our skateboards bleeds into our everyday lives. Failure has only taught us that we must get up after we’ve fallen and we must encourage others to do the same.
Our mutual love for an activity has taught us to accept everyone for who they are and look for the similarities instead of differences. As such a diverse group, we always want more people to join in because of how much we all enjoy what we do and we want them to succeed at it. Just hearing “You got this!” or “Next try, You’re so close! Don’t give up” can be the most powerful encouragement. especially in skatepark, surrounded by mostly strangers who you only share the space with due to a mutual love. That little bit of energy and support can mean the world to a kid who refuses to give up or to an old man relearning an old trick, totally ignoring that fact that his knees just can’t skate as hard as they used to.
We are the fun loving misfits of the world. we live our lives one push at a time (just the same as you). We as humans should aspire to build the same community for each other. One of support, care and inspiration. No matter what age, race, upbringing or dreams we have. It will never be our differences that define us. Only the love, passion, persistence, support, and inspiration that we have and bring to skateboarding. If a toy can unite some of us, then a little effort could maybe bring us all closer together. I belong to something much greater than myself. I often find myself becoming inspired by them. When I become frustrated during the process of learning or even struggling to hone in a skill, I’m reminded of this and I hope that you can be reminded of this when you hit similar roadblocks in life. Practice makes persistence, not perfection. Failure is a stepping stone to success. The support the you have in one aspect of life exists even outside of the audible cheers and the physical high-fives. What in your life has inspired/supported you and how will you pass that along to others when stepping into tomorrow? FP