Over the last couple months I’ve watched several coming-of-age movies about skaters. The first was Skate Kitchen, which follows Camille, an 18 year old skater from Long Island as she navigates adolescence and finds new friends and connections through an all-girls skateboard collective in the city.
Most recently I watched The Land and the story of a group of boys from Cleveland as they struggle to make ends meet, to break into the sponsored skateboarding world, and find themselves way in over their heads in the end.
What I love about these movies is learning about a new culture. The skateboarding culture feels gritty, loose, and free. From the way they dress to the way they move on their boards, I’m mesmerized by it all. I regularly find myself jealous of people who pour themselves into their craft. Musicians who practice their instruments for hours every day, the teens from these two movies practicing tricks and skills for hours a day. The dedication to their craft and focus is beyond anything I can see myself doing.
Last month I was out for a walk in my new neighborhood when I saw a young man practicing tricks on his board in a parking lot. I’ve been working on building up the courage and confidence to ask strangers I feel drawn to if I can take their portrait. And this guy was gracious enough to let me practice. Thanks, Tony.