Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I’ve Got a Theory: Everything you need to know about becoming better at something, you can learn at the skate park.

I took my nine-year-old daughter to the skate park on Friday. She’s not a very experienced skateboarder, but as I watched her summon her courage and skate with 30 boys who were way bigger and way more experienced than her, I realized how skateboarding is pretty much like everything else you try— mental or physical.

Whether the hobby/talent/sport/interest you have is purely for fun and enjoyment, or if you’re doing it with the goal of rising to a professional level, you still have to start at the beginning, learn lots, and make a lot of mistakes.

So here you go. My list of universal truths learned at the skate park:

  • It takes guts to run with the big boys. A lot of guts. You can totally feel like a poser. Like you’ve got no business being there when you aren’t as good as everyone else. But guess what? Those are the people you learn the most from.
  • You can’t stay down on the ground when you fall. You have to pick yourself up a lot, because you WILL find yourself down on the ground a lot.
  • The bigger the risk the higher chance of getting hurt when you fall. Also, the bigger chance of doing something really cool.
  • If you finally stop watching at the sidelines and actually start to DO, you have so much more fun. And then you’ll want to keep doing it again and again.
  • You’ll probably get hurt. Expect to, and expect that you’ll handle it fine, and you will.
  • There’s a community there.
  • Even when you master something you’ve been working hard on, there are still a million more things to master.
  • Ten year old girls should NOT wear heavy black eyeliner.
  • When you stop to notice, you’ll see that EVERYONE crashes and burns– even the people who look like pros. And it makes your crashes and burns less painful.

And another little gem from my daughter herself:

Daughter: “I don’t think I’m experienced enough to do that.”
Me: “And how do you get experienced enough?”
Daughter: “You fall down a lot. I think I need to go fall down some more.”

Happy Tuesday! And may all your crashes and burns be ones you can pick yourself up from.


Millie said...

Oi! You were in my neighbor!

Jessie Humphries said...

U don't mean this could apply to writing do u? Thx for the dose if inspiration.

Kristine said...

I like the analogy. Very insightful. And, I loved her comment about needing to go fall down some more. Oh, I love that girl.

And, thanks again for the cookies you dropped off on your way home! ;)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Millie-- Awesome! Do you go there often? Alecia will be so jealous. She wishes she lived close enough to go every day.

Jessie-- Definitely to writing! I didn't write it specifically to writing just because it works for a million other things, too. Plus if I did, my post would've been a mile long. And I would've likely rambled. And no one likes a mile-long ramble.

Kristine-- I loved her comment, too! I love that she doesn't expect to start off being perfect, and that it takes a lot of work to get even close. And you're welcome!

Ozzland said...

I really think the stop watching and get off the sideline sis the key to most if not everything. No matter what you are talking about or doing unless the thing is most time spent watching TV or movies, then getting up and participating is the only thing that is going to help!!

You can read all your life and be a great writer (in your head) but get and do it, sure there might be some failure but think of all the books you have read that sucked! And they still got published, I mean it may take some time but apparently anything is possible if you at least try. :P

Peggy Eddleman said...

Ozzland-- Exactly! Just like reading all of the how-to books-- it doesn't accomplish anything unless you get off the sidelines and DO IT!

Talei said...

Great advice. I think that even if we fall down, we still have to get back up!

Funnily, one of my neighbours kids was on his skateboard yesterday teaching another young friend how to use it. And he said, 'if it gets too fast, you can always jump off'. Made me laugh, so true about a lot of things in life. ;-)

Ozzland said...

haha ok thanks Talei, based on that comment I had an instant brain flash, does anyone remember what movie said:
"Go that way really fast, and if something gets in your way, Turn"

Debbie Davis said...

peggy I love your blog and wanted to say thanks for following mine, I really love your encouragement and wanted to say that I am so excited to be following your blog now too!! =0) which totally rocks by the way!!

Bkloss said...

How cool is this???? And AWESOME you would take her to do that! I love the analogy :)

Millie said...

Not often at all. The only time I've gone there was to watch Jefe skateboard and that was over 5yrs. ago! Frequently something interesting is going on which then I stop and take a look. Such as today someone was on the building attempting to skate off it.

K. Marie Criddle said...

I LOVE this and it's soooo universally true. We just need to get OUT there, whether it be skateboarding or writing or WHAT HAVE YOU. What an incredibly lesson to learn. Your daughter is AWESOME! Good on her for getting up, falling down and getting back up!

P.S. Ozzland, I think the movie was "Better Off Dead"...one of my favorites!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Talei-- If it gets too fast you can always jump off= pure awesome! I'll definitely have to remember that.

Debbie-- Aww, shucks. Thank you! And you're welcome! Your blog is fabulous! Thanks for stopping by.

Barbara-- I know! The vicarious living through kids is one of my favorite perks. :)

Millie-- OFF THE BUILDING?!! No one can ever accuse those skateboarders of not being crazy brave. Or possibly just crazy.

Marie-- I guess that's the key-- getting back up one more time than you fall down. :) Grats on guessing the movie!

Carterista said...

Oh, Peggy! I love this post. I read it to Logan and told him to think about learning to ride his bike. He just gave me a look that said, "Mom, you are nutso!!!" If only he had what Alecia has...

Peggy Eddleman said...

Carterista-- I totally get that look often, too. Just not from Alecia.