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what's so spiritual about skateboarding

What’s So Spiritual About Skateboarding?

Skating was something that I always found super cool.

Watching Marty Mcfly skating to school riding from car to car or Bart Simpson skating around Springfield was a level of cool the young Kenzo would never get to experience on the rocky roads of the Philippines. 

When I moved to the United States, I got my first skateboard. The problem was no one had told me that you needed balance to be good at skating. So I put one foot on the tip board and the other foot in the middle and fell straight on back like a tom and jerry cartoon. Ever since then I was extremely scared to ever try skating again. I didn’t think it’d ever be possible to ever learn and would always be someone who just admired skating from afar. 

Fearing change is a normal part of changing and growing. But because of my fear I saw my limitations as fact. I thought I was incapable of changing my skateboarding skills. I needed someone to show me the opportunity that came from trying something new. 4 years ago someone taught me how to stop, fall correctly, and get back up on the board. I learned to enjoy the process of change. Here are 5 things that learning to skateboard taught me about change.

Have A Clear Motivation

And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. [6] Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive.

For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. [7] When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition?

James 1:5-7 TPT

Before we try to change something, we gotta ask ourselves if we really want it. This requires us to dig a little deeper in our motives to try and understand why we want something in the first place. I started learning to skate just because I thought it was cool and I wanted to be cool just like the skaters I saw in movies. But sometimes learning to change something will be harder or is less motivating when our motives for changing aren’t the best

As I got older I realized after talking to a friend of mine that skating was something super fun when you actually try it. It gives you this experience of weightlessness floating on the ground plus it was very practical to get around campus at De Anza and SJSU. When I was learning how to skate in college, I wanted to be better friends with the person who was helping me skate and thought about how much faster it would be to get around campus since I was pretty lazy. It was relational, practical and cool. These were stronger motives for learning and they helped me get back up again when I fell down (literally).

Ask For Help and Listen to it 

The girl who taught me how to skate first had to teach me how to stop and how to fall. She knew that even before I even started learning how to move, I had to learn how to stop and fall properly so I wouldn’t seriously injure myself. 

Oftentimes when we’re learning to try something new we can be either overly hesitant or recklessly courageous. The importance of learning with a teacher or someone with experience is having a guide you can learn from who’s gone through what you’re about to learn. I had to respect that this girl knew how to skate and had to trust that she knew what she was talking about. 

This is something I can relate to even my current job as a video editor. It’s so easy to just try and learn from youtube or experience on different student films I’ve been on, but having my boss who has been working on video editing for longer than me probably will be helpful to listen to than just doing it on my own.

After a while of learning how to get on the board and get off the board without falling, she taught me how to stop the board and fall off the board properly. I was so afraid of getting hurt but after falling a couple of times and having someone cheer me on to keep going I was able to persevere.

Expect Fear and Overcome It Together

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

The way God wants us to grow and change shouldn’t be motivated by fear, but love and self-discipline. When I was learning to skate the thing that kept me going was the care that my friend was giving in taking the time to teach me.

The scripture is saying that God gives us power, love, and self-discipline. Change doesn’t come easy, but it gets easier when we believe God will give us the power to do it.

Earlier last year I was going through something similar with moving out of my house and into an apartment with some friends. I didn’t know what it was like to live with other people besides my family so I was worried about what they were going to think about the way I lived my life, what I ate and how messy I was. I was having second thoughts about even moving out entirely because I was so afraid.

This fear of change was something I understood as a normal part of growing up. What helped me work through the fear was this scripture and remembering how much help I needed in the past. I decided to move into the apartment with new roommates and chose to be vulnerable. I had to learn from them how to live away from home. I asked for their help and still do to this day learning more about who they are and becoming more comfortable with living together with them.

Self discipline is something that’s really helpful when learning how to skate because it comes with a calm and well-balanced mind. Those are things you need especially when you start learning how to move. Once you get on the board, you’ll just start moving, but you won’t move very far if you don’t learn how to push yourself forward. 

This was probably the most exciting part of learning how to skate for me. I wanted to go really fast and zoom past campus and get to places quickly. But pushing takes some getting used to, at first you don’t really want to push yourself too much because you might end up falling and not being able to handle the strain of gaining momentum, but just like with anything you start out small and build up to moving faster.

Start Out with Small Change

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

Zechariah 4:10 NLT

God rejoices in the small steps we take to change.. It’s these small beginnings that lead into the ultimate goal that you’ve set for yourself. If you’re like me it can be easy to look down on yourself and get insecure, but small changes make all the difference when sustained over time. You just have to persevere and trust the process.

At first, I was barely pushing myself, but what really helped was getting input on what I was capable of doing. I felt insecure going a lot slower than my friend, but she told me that I could pick up the speed and learn how to continue growing if I just had the right form. She emphasized that It’s not that I wasn’t as good as her, but she had just been skating longer. 

Another key to change is not comparing yourself with other people who are better than you or worse than you. When you compare yourself with people who are better than you at something you’ll never feel like you’re good enough. But when you compare yourself with people who are worse than you, you’ll settle for being where you’re at and never really grow to the person God wants you to become. 

Understanding Your Change is Going to Be Unique

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Galatians 5:25 MSG

God doesn’t want us to focus on other people and feel insecure about how much we’re changing or how little we’re making progress, but what matters most is not losing focus on what God wants for you. The scripture describes each of us an original. That means comparing you to Bob from Rhode Island or Sally from Arizona doesn’t make any sense. God wanted you to be you for a reason, and each person has his or her own unique journey.

This is something really important to understand with a relationship with God and with changing anything in your life. You gotta be flexible and be ok with messing up. When I finally started being comfortable with skating, I felt really excited and started meeting new people who also skated.

Learning how to skate from my friend was an experience that I deeply appreciate and enjoyed. Skating wasn’t a test to see if I was gonna be good enough. It was fun because I saw the progress I was making with my friends and we both just learned together. I didn’t need to feel like Marty Mcfly, but I felt more like Kenzo Chua. 

It’s really easy to see change as a hassle or a lot of pain and discomfort, but there are things in life that you’ll never be able to experience without trying for yourself and learning how to fall. When you start becoming more comfortable with one change in your life, it’ll lead you to embracing change in other areas too! 

I wanna end it off with a scripture that will help you keep moving forward no matter how many bumps in the road you may hit.

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 37:24 NLT
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