Junior Almanac – Skateboarding: Lessons Learnt at the Naz

by Jack Regan

 

It all started when I was 12. One month ago to be honest. Now, I’m not being cocky at all, nor do I think I am good at this sport. I just believe in self-confidence. You know what I mean!

Anyway, it was a regular day at the Naz, the weather was a stand out. I noticed some sick dude pass by, popping tre-flips all over the joint. Very inspiring I’ve got to say. After about a half an hour he observed that I was having trouble learning some basic tricks. He pulled over beside me, took his earplugs out, and talked me through it. I sensed that he knew what he was taking about and gauged my vibe. He was able to teach me the easiest way to fastrac my skills. I was halfway there with my 50-50s on the Naz box. I was getting comfortable on my board. Suddenly ollies, kick flips and grinds were a breeze…. The dude just stood at the rear a fair distance from me, but strangely his gaze made me push my limits. He occasionally came closer to me to offer criticism or praise and I listened to his advice. Just when I did the ultimate trick I looked over and he was gone. Strange but I didn’t need him to watch me anymore, he gave me the confidence to ride on my own.

 

For a while I returned to the same spot and although I didn’t need him I kind of hoped he would be there. I kept on testing myself. I think I was better than I ever hoped I could be. Just as I grinded the bench, my heart thumped. I fell. I was gutted. I was shattered. Where was that guy? Where on earth did he go? I suddenly realized that I was all on my own. I had some confidence in myself. Why would I need someone to be there to look out for me and persuade me to become better? I felt an extraordinary adrenalin rush.

 

For the first time, I picked myself up. I said to myself this is the day that I have been waiting for… It’s only me. I believe in myself. I stood on my board. A couple of deep breaths will do the trick. I line up in the most perfect angle. The board dropped onto the smooth pavement. I looked behind me and there he was! Awww sweet! This is sick. I felt so many thoughts whizz around my head at 100 kilometres per hour.

 

I push off, coming up to the box at reasonably fast speed. I pop up, landing cleanly on the ledge, gliding along my trucks. I lift up, turn my shoulders in a 90 degree angle, and come off the ledge clean, landing with 2 feet, and 2 trucks on the ground. WHAT… THE… ACTUAL HELL WAS THAT? First try and let me tell you I felt invincible. I screamed: “YES! THAT’S IT BOYS!”

 

Everyone was screaming at me with happiness like I just won SLS! Even Clarence in the corner was laughing with joy! Angus came up from behind me, gave me a good old scratch on the head and a high five.

But then that’s when I realized… I was the only one screaming at the top of my lungs because all of the joys made me feel like I just did something amazing.

 

And I learnt something. No matter how bad or great you are at something, don’t be cocky about it, nor be afraid to be proud about it.

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