old guys riding skateboards

Few things fascinate me more than this: watching middle-aged men ride skateboards; and not because I think it’s funny, in fact quite the opposite. Disregard whether they are actually good at it or not, that does not matter and is beside the point. The fact that they are at an age when they are told that they’re are a set list of things that they should concern themselves with – 401k’s, life insurance, saving money for their child’s college fund – and instead they are out, riding a skateboard, that is the most amazing thing to me.

Having been told by older males about what it’s like to tell people that you skateboard, that at their workplace they are asked constantly and without signs of fatigue “Why do you still ride that thing?” And that must be a little tough, I mean, you’re doing what you enjoy and people are shaming you. You can’t win them all I guess.

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By the looks of it, I’d say its very likely that Mark Gonzales wins them all. Rock and Roll. Photo: Rob Meronek

The way that these older men still decide to keep doing it despite them being constantly criticized for doing it is not only inspirational, but also lets me know that I can continue to keep on doing what I enjoy as well, as long as I stay true to myself and don’t internalize the negative voices coming from elsewhere.

This is a prime example of having tough skin- both literally and figuratively. Although I wouldn’t say that I am old, in the relative sense, I’m aware that as you age your body’s health and quickness to recovery slowly diminishes, and I could only imagine that skating becomes tougher as well – you have to stretch more before sessions, eat better, and overall just take much better care of your body – and I would imagine that the thought of skating down stairs sounds akin to having someone strike you with a hammer right on the soles of your feet. It’s no longer like when you were 14 and would eat whatever the hell you wanted and would still go out and skate and be totally fine. You didn’t actually believe that routine could last forever, did you?

There are many other things that began to take over as you grow up. Responsibilities that weren’t there when you were a child. And I’m sure those responsibilities will only continue to tack on as life goes on.

So I salute you guys, all you strangers that I’ve never met (and may never meet), because you people are an inspiration and seeing you out there keeps me going, doing your own thing and not caring about what others feel they have to say. You guys are proof that skating has no end, and there is absolutely no reason to not keep pushing.

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