Bucket List: Learning to Skate

For many, many years I’ve wanted to learn how to skate. Not just stand on a board and roll around a parking lot, but actually show up to a park and be able to ride it. Be able to navigate a bowl I’d never been to before. And somehow, amazingly, I’m doing it. After years of sort-of starting, of kind-of trying, I can go to a skate park with friends, drop in and have fun. It’s ridiculously fun, actually, more fun than I’d anticipated.

When I was starting out it was at High Cascade. I went to the skate park because I was encouraging my camper girls to go. What better way to get them to show up than actually show up and do it myself? Then I started engaging with my friends and agreeing to go skate. I was still terrified (and not good). Dropping in had barely been a thing for me. But I went, and I tried. Each time I got nervous and started to hang back, my friends would tell me to, ‘try it again,’ or, ‘go for another drop’. I’m competitive and didn’t want to look like a sissy, so I did.

And then slowly, this outside influence became the inside drive. I wanted to ride the bowl. Not to prove anything to anyone, nor to impress them, but simply to be able to do it. And the feeling! Getting a carve right in a bowl or navigating a corner successfully boosts confience like nothing else. Now when I go- I know I’m skating. I have a group of friends in Portland who want to keep skating and it’s FUN. It reminds me of rock climbing in the way that you make it as challenging or as easy as you want it to be. It’s an individual sport that turns into a group event. On the flip side, snowboarding (what got me to start skating) is something that I always want to do with a group, but you can’t really go with a big of variety of abilities (it’s hard to keep friends together when one person is learning how to carve and the other two are looking for cliffs to drop).

So I like skateboarding. More than I ever thought I would. In fact, I didn’t quite think I’d ever be able to say that I skate. But I can. And I still have a lot to learn.

Watching Ariel carve the baby bowl at Pier Park over my morning chai latte.
Watching Ariel carve the baby bowl at Pier Park over my morning chai latte.

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