Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Two Teenage Skateboarders Inspired Me

How Two Teenage Skateboarders Inspired Me

As I was waiting for the Light Rail the other night, I think it was a Tuesday, across the street from the platform were two kids on skateboards. They were maybe 14 or 15, and admittedly, my first thoughts were: "Do their mothers know where they are? It's a school night – what about homework?" But then I started watching them.

And I discovered something amazing: I want to be like those skater kids!

These kids had a goal, and were singular in their determination to accomplish it. The goal was mastering a wall about 2 feet high. They would start back maybe 10 yards, push off, and gain as much speed as possible. Then they'd jump their boards up onto the wall so that they were skidding, perpendicular to the wall (kind of like the kid in the picture is on the railing). That was the easy part, though. The trick they were trying to master was jumping off the wall and landing back on their boards with both feet. It reminded me of gymnasts trying to master the perfect landing.

They tried it again and again and again. I was waiting maybe 25 minutes for the train (don't believe that "every 20 minutes" printed on all the schedules!), and I lost count of the number of times they repeated this process.

But besides the sheer determination to accomplish their goal, they cheered each other on. One came very close to a perfect landing, and the other shouted, "You got it!" When the first one finally did the perfect landing, the other came over and gave him that high five/fist bump combo. And as soon as the first one landed it, the second kid did, too. It was like watching poetry or dance or music in motion.

I'd have to guess these two boys didn't have a clue I was watching, and couldn't have cared less, had they known. But they were inspirational to me.

Seriously – how many of us have goals? Most, probably. But how many of us take the time to get together with a friend who shares that goal, and then go out and practice and practice and practice and PRACTICE until we land it, perfectly? Far fewer, I'm betting.

How would our businesses – and our lives – be different if we did? I don't know about you, but I'm taking some time this week to reevaluate my practice schedule, find a support partner, and get busy!

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