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Eye on the Prize

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EYE ON THE PRIZE

This is Brad Edwards in what can only be described as a 20-foot metal capsule, secretly located in Southern California. The chances of you finding it are remote; the chances of you riding it are slim to none. However, since you’ve got your hands on a copy of CW, you can at least live vicariously through Mr. Edwards.

Brad got himself into this specific position through a number of paths. His love of skateboarding and ability to push himself forward brought him to places like this capsule. How he managed to get into this position clearly shows how his efforts have paid off.

What’s most intriguing about this photo is that it is a terrific metaphor for being centered and finding your path. In the middle of the capsule, there is a hole letting in light. When I am out skating, my body and my mind become centered and in balance. Riding can clear your mind of stress and darkness. It lets in a light that brings with it a sense of peace and harmony. We all take different paths on skateboards, but ultimately, we all enjoy the benefits of what the ride gives us.

Taking a wider view, you can see that this photo looks like a giant eyeball. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. As skaters, we are always under scrutiny. The non-skating public seem to have an endless number of issues with where we skate, how fast we skate and sometimes even how old we are as skaters! Beyond this is the watchful eye of our fellow skaters. We’ve all had to deal with someone who seems to have a problem with the gear we’ve purchased, the pro rider we like or the clothing we’re wearing. Whether it’s online, at the skate shop or during a skate session, somebody has an opinion or issue – or both! Ironically, when it comes to being eyeballed, it’s skaters who can be the most judgmental of all.

My response to all this? Go back to your roots. Go back to what brought you to riding a skateboard in the first place. Focus on the ride being the reward. This will center you and keep you balanced. I know this because I’ve experienced it personally.

I remember when skateboarding hit my neighborhood in the mid-1970s. I was one of the first to embrace it and quickly five other kids started. Next, a skatepark was built near my house and dozens more joined in. Then, as quickly as it started, it all collapsed. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone had abandoned skateboarding and I became the only rider in my neighborhood. I wound up being somewhat ostracized, and people couldn’t understand why I remained with it. Rather than try to explain my reasoning, I kept my eye on the prize and charted my own damn course. Forty years later, the results speak for themselves and I see my path with 20/20 vision.

Thankyou to Concrete Wave Magazine Fall Issue No.2/2015 Michael Brooke Publisher/Editor

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