When I was scheduled to do this speech in the MPR, I wanted to bring something special - a video of me skating. It’s mostly me falling, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that one final try when I succeeded.
I love falling on concrete, it consumes a big chunk of my life. I’m talking about skateboarding, my favorite sport. I've spent 10+ hours a week for the past 5 years enduring blood, sweat, and tears for a piece of wood on four wheels. Skateboarding defines who I am as a person mentally, physically, and socially.
When I am skateboarding, it seems as if time stops. Skateboarding is captivating; I become focused, everything else fades away, and it allows me to get into my zone. This “zone” is where I feel most like myself. I am free of all stress and responsibilities for a few moments and it helps me take my mind off things. When I'm on my board, it becomes a part of me.
I regularly wake up with random bruises and scars that will stay with me for the rest of my life. My body has to be extremely conditioned and my legs trained to flick a certain way when needed. If it's not so perfect, i'm going to fall - and fall hard . Skating is just like any sport, you have to put everything into every try and think about what your doing before you go for it. If you scoop the board just slightly the wrong way, your outcome is going to be completely different, and there are thousands of variables to keep in mind before you even try a trick.
Skating isn't only just a sport- it's a life lesson and a teaching moment. We’ve all taken a math test and thought we aced it, then to find out that we totally bombed it. You have to get that test back and fix what you messed up. Prepare correctly the next time, and put your all into it until you succeed. I know that in life I won’t always succeed the first time I try something, but skating has taught me that perseverance is key.
It's also taught me patience. I know that in life I'm going to be faced with many obstacles, and I know that I'm going to fall. But the most important thing I've learned is to get back up, stronger than before.