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.

About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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