By Max Schaaf
As a young boy I found a skateboard in front of my house, to this day I’ll never know why it was there or who it left it there. I’ve never been much of a team sports person, the competition a part of it, the need for a uniform, and pressure from coaches never related with me. Climbing trees and balancing on top of fences along with making art was more my speed as a youngster. So when I found that skateboard I looked at it as a tool to explore my neighborhood, makes some noise, and challenge my balance….never would I have guessed that it would lead to decades of exploring the world and myself.
As I improved at skateboarding my self confidence improved and i was able to let it help pull me out of my shell, eventually meeting other kids like myself that didn’t always fit in. Skateboarding started to feel so good, a perfect balance or creativity and self expression, peppered with some character building bumps, bruises, and failure. Skateboarding could be so difficult due to its complexity and little did I know at the time, but so was growing up in this world. I have to admit that I’m quite jealous of the youth today having more accessible places to skate and more positive figures in the community to support the activity. It’s really beautiful to see it’s growth and how much less divisive it has become, It’s become such a community of all genders, races, and ages. I’m so thankful that skateboard found me way back as a child it really opened me up to how beautiful the world can be.