The Gang

My Skateboarding Therapy

I’ll start by saying 2014 hasn’t exactly been the easiest year for me. In December, at the very start, I compound fractured my left leg after smashing into a guard rail at 40mph to avoid a mini van that cut the lane. Doctors originally had predicted that I’d never skate again. Later, in May of this same year, I lost my mother due to complications caused from her battle with breast cancer, and my world completely changed. Couple that with the far lesser loss of an automobile, the split of a year long romance, and the departure from my six solid years of living in my Downtown Los Angeles studio, and I’d say you have the makings of a pretty trying situation. Alas, I have not been deterred from pressing on with my chosen lifestyle. Something inherently true about skateboarders is that through our religious dedication to our craft, we develop a sort of Zen understanding of the way things are, a fostered comprehension of acceptance. The moment you drop in on a ramp, or a hill, you accept that you are potentially going to get hurt. Over time, inevitably, one begins to perceive this. We train ourselves to be okay with the aspect of complete and total uncertainty. Through skateboardings trials and errors, naturally, we learn to walk a fine line. We attain an understanding in regards to handling the emotional weight of being completely in control of your own destiny, while also simultaneously embracing the momentous uncertainty of whatever is to come.

Camilo Cespedes hopping over cat tails in Downtown LA.

Camilo Cespedes hopping over cat tails in Downtown LA.

It took me a long time to realize that, or maybe it just took me experiencing this series traumatic events first hand to make me realize to what an incredible degree this now decade long affair with the skateboard has influenced my way of thinking. All I know is that a true skateboarder always seems to get back up. Be it blood, sweat, or tears, nothing short of death itself can stand in the way of a skaters zealous dedication to that sweet feeling of rolling, the commitment to the carve, satiate that inherent need for speed.

Dane Webber, stickin' corners at dusk in Malibu.

Dane Webber, stickin’ corners at dusk in Malibu.

Let there be no doubt that I’ve been weathering one hell of a storm in the microcosm that is my world, but also know that the wisdom I’ve gained through the diligent participation and practice of this beautiful sport has provided me with a sense of hope and optimism for that very same aspect of uncertainty. That while life may hit you with its worst, there is always a chance for it to also reward you with its best. Skateboarding to most may be regarded as a toy, an object of play, but for me, it has become so much more than just simply that. For me, skateboarding has been my escape, my meditation, my salvation, my therapy, and I’ll forever be humbled by where it continues to take me, and what it continues to teach me as I make my way through this life.

Camilo Cespedes with a 360 shuvit slide through Los Angeles grime.

Camilo Cespedes with a 360 shuvit slide through Los Angeles grime.

In loving memory and admiration of my mother, Donna Marie Eble, the only individual who has taught me more about the importance of creativity and beauty than the skateboard,

“Just live in the now, and do what you love to do”

Thanks for reading, now embrace uncertainty, and go skateboard.

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