Once upon a time, there was a girl who did not shy away from risks or falling or failing. She invited scraped knees and red ink. She didn’t shy away from the idea of impromptu plans or hasty last minute decisions. She didn’t back out of things that maybe now she would make a pro and cons at second thought. Once upon a time that was me. Now I need a month of planning before I go anywhere. Sometimes I order gluten free pizza and I have a religious TV schedule. So tell me why at the wonderful age of 21 I decided skateboarding was a hobby I wanted to pick up on. There’s a couple of very good reasons why I choose it, but the lessons I learned along the way have been far more valuable than I ever could’ve imagined.
1. You’re never too old to learn something new.
OK, so I probably wouldn’t have tried this if I was like 60 (or maybe I would have, who knows?) but 21 still seemed relatively young to make bad decisions and being the relatively terribly coordinated person I am, this seemed like a terrible decision, but why not make them while I still can? Yeah, learning new skills and hobbies in your 20’s is weird, especially when it’s something that other people learned when they were like 12, but it’s never too late to start something new.
Go out and do the thing that scares you.
2. Just skateboard out of your comfort zone.
I could’ve gotten a bike. I could have just joined a gym, but I bought a board instead and YouTube’d my way onto it. If you never try new things you’ll never know what you like or what you’re capable of, and this was one thing that I did not really believe I was capable of. To say that this was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement, but it was still an experience that I’m grateful for.
3. Bruised knees hurt way less than bruised feelings.
I’m pretty sure I was going through a rough break up along with a wonderful early quarter life crisis and learned quickly that even if you fall, you can only stay down for a while, but eventually you gotta get back up. This applies to both life and the skateboard park or the other skateboard kids will just ride around you and life is just gonna keep happening around you, whether you want it to or not.
4. Small obstacles can be overwhelming.
There were a dozen times when I was on the ground because of a pebble because you can dodge big obstacles pretty easily on a board, but small pebbles and small holes in the cement, not so much.These tiny little things can do so much damage at times, but at the end of the day they’re tiny little holes in that you just gotta get over and eventually you somehow get better at not face planting on the ground. I say somehow because I am not 100% how I manage to not do that every time I decide to try it again. Sometimes we lose sight of the big picture worrying about the small stuff and it’s not worth losing an entire experience for a small crack in the road. Metaphorically and literally, get back on the board and try again.
5. You can do (almost) anything you put your mind to.
I may not be able to calculate the surface area of anything, but I can now stand on a skateboard all because I decided I wanted to learn. The feeling of accomplishing a personal goal is worth the bruises and scrapes along the way.
Whether it’s skateboarding or learning a new language, if it’s something you really want do I recommend sticking with it and taking all the bumps and complications along the way as learned lessons. You can’t grow if you’re not uncomfortable and even though I was super uncomfortable, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything (OK, maybe less bruised knees).