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Personal Growth: Learning to Skateboard at 29

This year is the last year of my 20s and the big 3-0 is just on the horizon. For the first time in my life I have become aware of my age and of aging. It’s not that at 29 years-old I feel like a worn out old sock – but I’ve noticed a shift in attitude, especially from my peers that are also nearing this milestone age.

The resounding attitude seems to be that this is the age to “settle” – whether that be in love or work or life. I hear a lot of, “I wish I could do this” or “I’ve always wanted to try that” from my peers whenever I share one of my whacky adventures. My question is, what’s stopping you? Who cares if you make a fool of yourself – getting out and learning new things is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and sets you up for a life of growth and discovery. The notion of “settling” or becoming stagnant is a slow death for me; if I’m not constantly self-improving and continually pursing new challenges, what the heck is the point?!

So what’s my latest challenge? At 29, I decided to learn how to skateboard and it’s god damn fantastic.

My newfound love affair with hopping on my board(s) is so much deeper than the activity itself. I love how learning something new forces me to get in touch with my body. As an athlete, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of doing what I’m good at and cruising on autopilot. Getting a feel for any new movement teaches you to quiet your mind, to focus, and to be present.

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Beyond the mind-body connection, I so love the smiles of encouragement I get from the women and girls that I push by … I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many “You go, girl!” cheers or thumbs up from passing strangers. Not only do I get to challenge myself, but I also get to engage in something that encourages other women and challenges social expectations. I’m not saying that me enjoying a fun skate puts me in the same tier as female heroines like Malala Yousafzai. I’m saying that it is incredibly important for both men and women to see strong females taking on new things, especially male-dominated activities like skateboarding. I mean, a chick on a skateboard is pretty damn awesome.

Whether it’s making a fool of yourself learning how to ollie, tackling a V6 on the bouldering wall, hitting a new deadlift PR, or simply focusing on living life with more compassion, why not try challenging yourself a little everyday? We only have one shot at this amazing roller coaster that is life, so get out and do all the things!

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