Pee Wee Herman said it best, "I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel."
When it comes to skateboarding, more often than not, I feel the same way. Even more so during the latest global pandemic we are experiencing.
See, for the past two decades I've pretty much just skated by myself. Part of it by choice. Part of it due to the fact that pretty much most of my original crew have either moved away or we just simply drifted apart. All with no drama I might add. These things just happen. We've all experienced it. We can usually see it coming too.
It was right around the time I met my girlfriend (now wife) when my skating slowly began to take less priority in my day/week/month/year. I never quit though. In fact, I remember going skating with one of my friends a time and my girlfriend rode her roller skates and watched us. But nevertheless, it happens. Friends then begin to reach out less and less assuming that you are busy or don't want to skate anymore. That is somewhat true for me as well.
Working on a relationship is hard work. And it never ends. Ever. Well, unless the individuals move on or pass away, etc., but you get my point. And over the years as our social circles (non-skaters) began to grow we found ourselves being insanely busy. Too busy in hindsight. I plan on saying "No" a lot more come post pandemic.
Anyway, once we added kids (we had twins) into the mix it was pretty much guaranteed that my skating time was going to be an uphill battle. And it was. Still is. But I always make some time for it. In fact, my hashtag these days is #skateontheweekend instead of #skateeverydamnday.
However, because of this pandemic I have had plenty of time to think. Plenty of time to dwell on the fact that I am not happy with the amount of skating I am getting in every week. The good thing about having a crew is that there is always someone there to help push each other should you not be feeling it that particular day, etc. I do miss that part of it all. Nothing beats that vibe.
I mentioned on the podcast (Episode 16 - Skateboarding Regrets) that one of my main regrets upon looking back is that I didn't film enough. I just hated filming. I like the outcome of getting the make and being able to share and enjoy said trick, but I hated filming. Now, I wish I had way more footage than I do to show my kids or to just get me pumped up to go ride. Go figure.
Riding solo in 2020 is becoming more of a challenge for me. Maybe it's because my favorite local park, Lake Cunningham, has been shut down since March. I miss that place so much. I always dig the vibe and energy there. Even if I'm usually the oldest dude riding around. I do plan on building a small quarterpipe in my backyard to keep me busy/sane. That was originally slated for this summer, but will have to wait a couple more months.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I am going to try and make more of an effort to grow back up a crew. Even if it's a bunch of us #dadbods rolling around slashing curbs. Sure, I am a loner when it comes to my skating, but it doesn't always have to be that way.
I think by getting the momentum going on growing my squad (even if it's just one other skater) now it will help me out even more as we are planning on moving out of state in a couple of years. This experience will definitely help.
Let me ask you this, do you ride solo? Prefer it? A combo of both?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Also, let me know how you meet new skaters in your city. Do you use social media? Bump into locals and just chat it up? Or do you just make your non-skater friends pick up a board and ride?
Let me know your thoughts below. Cheers.
Skateboarding changed my life.