“Do you want to learn how to use one of those BMX bikes?” A facilitator asks a young person, as she watches with curiosity.
”No, but I want to learn to skateboard.” She answers as she runs up and down the halfpipes.
There are so many things to learn about in the world. Each individual gets to choose only a select few of them, dividing our time among what’s most important to us, what interests us the most, and which challenges we want to take on. I’m especially reminded of this when I visit a skate park, and watch people doing things that I know I will never put the time into to get good at, but that they all find so much passion and joy in.
We arrived at the skate park somewhat by accident, as we were exploring a new part of the city most of us were unfamiliar with.
“How do you get up once you’re in there?” A girl asked, peering down into one of the medium sized halfpipes.
”You have to get momentum” David answered, backing way up to one edge and getting a running start, “and then you propel yourself up,” he ran up and grabbed onto the side, jumping up and over.
”Ahhh” she responded, and ran down into the pipe to try for herself. Up and down, along the sides, they ran, different heights and angles making them run faster, slower, tip sideways. I sat down and watched.
They made their way to the biggest pipe, which was a full pipe that went all the way around, with a steep incline that lead down into the pipe, with hand-holds and sandpaper-like strips in the form of steps to slightly help guide you up and down. A sign along the side of the pie said 9 feet, and we all speculated that this was perhaps once a pool.
They slid down into the pipe, and took turns attempting to get up the side — it was not easy. They slipped and slid and got offered help from above, but refused it. They backed further up and got up more speed, attempting to find the right amount of volacity to make it up the side of the pipe without stalling, because it was at that point, the point that they stalled, that they would fall right back down. Eventually, we all figured it out.
We moved on to more adventures within the large park, tired and happy from attempting half and full pipes on foot, proving what our bodies and some determination could do.
There are so many skills in the world, so much knowledge, so many topics. We can only skim the surface of many of them, and have to choose for ourselves which ones to focus on. More than anything, a skate park reminds me of this, every time. What reminds you of this?