Today I went to the skatepark with my youngest son Luke and we proudly arrived there on rollerblades.
Being a former competitive figure skater and hockey coach, I enjoy any type of skating whether it be on ice or on land.
Partly to make my 9 year-old cringe, partly to fit in with the other groups blasting their music out loudly and partly because it brought me back to former days of good times spent hanging with friends at the skate park, I took a break and searched YouTube for some tunes to play on my smartphone.
Taking a break to grab a drink of water and to watch some of the older guys do some pretty sick tricks, I contently blasted 93 ’Til Infinity by Souls Of Mischief followed by Millencolin’s Bullion, as Luke repeatedly told me to turn off my ‘awful boomer music’, that I was so embarrassing and that ‘everyone’ probably thinks my music is dumb.
That was a great and memorable Mother moment.
Anyway, I had a skateboard once.
Years ago when I lived in Whistler, I bought my first and only World Industries setup. I owned a pair of DC track pants, a black and white Skull Skates hoodie and grey Osiris shoes. Daewon Song was my favourite pro, I attended Slam City Jams, hip hop and punk shows, hung out at the skatepark and got special event passes to local snowboard events like the Telus Big Air so, for face value, I definitely passed as a ‘betty’.
Though I legitimately loved punk and rap music, felt like I belonged at all those events, was a decent snowboarder and got around okay on my skateboard, I was too chicken s#&t to ever actually try any tricks or hit up the ramps or bowl at the skatepark.
I admit, when it came to skating…I was a poser.
Skateboarding is arguably one of the most difficult sports out there and if you disagree, you’ve clearly never tried it. There are no pads, no foam pits to practice on and no potential soft landings…ever.
In my life, I’ve either trained for, played, coached or competed (or all of the above) in many different sports including these ones; figure skating, waterskiing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, baseball, dirt biking, soccer, volleyball, baseball, triathlon, bodybuilding and more.
Of all the sports I’ve tried, nothing is more technical, unforgiving or underestimated as skateboarding.
Besides the less-than-gracious return it often offers, skating it’s often looked down upon in society as a lowly, talentless, reserved-for-the-‘uneducated’ and rough-around-the-edges-types pastime.
I can tell you that it is not.
To this day, I adore watching skating and love being around the scene. It’s a unique brother(and sister)hood that is hard to come by in any other athletic arena. Choice words may be used, the people are often scraped up, bloody, sweaty, stinky and dirty. But, it’s something that, in my opinion, deserves the title of the most underestimated cred-worthiest sport around.