The journey back to my roots

03 Aug The journey back to my roots

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How much better does it sound to say “I have to go skateboarding” or “I’m paddle-boarding tomorrow”, rather than “I have to go work out” or “I’m headed to the gym” or “I’ve got to rehab my surgically repaired shoulder”? I hell of a lot better!

I usually tell people when talking about skateboarding that I grew up riding one. I started when my grandma gave me enough money to buy my first one when I was eleven. I always say, “I’ve been riding a skateboard for over twenty years.” I’ll come clean. I rode a skateboard for over twenty years, but not like I did for the first ten. Those first ten were all about skating ramps and streets and mad crazy obstacles and contests and trips to big cities to shred what street spots they had. That was skating. Since then, I went to college, went to grad school, then moved to San Diego to fool myself that I was still a skater, maybe even a surfer. I rode one but I wasn’t really skating.

I am coming up on my thirty-fifth birthday and to be totally honest, I’ve never felt closer to twenty-one as I do now. Maybe not the aches in my body from bailing, but my mind. This year, even more in the last few months, I have flushed out all the bullshit. I quit doing things I didn’t want to do. I’ve stopped committing to things I don’t want to do. I started committing only to things I want to do and actually following through with them. And most of all, I’m skateboarding again.

I wrote a movie this year and it’s a story about some high school kids and their struggles in life and decisions they are forced to make. You know what their backbone is? Skateboarding. It makes them complete. It’s their family, their friend, their way of life, and even a form of communication. Writing this story has caused me to reconnect with some childhood friends. Real friends. Kids I grew up with in the “shit”. Lucky for me, one of them lives here in L.A. now. We meet up and skate every Saturday, then follow that up with some beers and bullshit, just being homies like nothin’ ever changed.

I also get out and skate every Wednesday. Those are commitments. Sometimes more but always those two times. It’s been a trip just trying to get back my old tricks. I had a lot of talent growing up and it’s slowly coming back. I texted my buddy after I sessioned the park in Venice Wednesday morning to tell him I just threw down a huge kick-flip and heel-flip up the wedge at the park, like the old days. His reply, “Sick!”

It feels good, man. Doing what I love because I want to. I say I’ve gotten back to my roots. I have. I really have. Surrounding myself with people who positively influence me in my career and in my life. I have made an effort to complete things with my family and get closer to all of them. I tell you from proof of this year, when you are happy in your life, your career goes off the charts. And the anxiety has vanished! The progress that I have my with the film I wrote is surreal. And my commitment to Integrity has made it all come together. That might be the number one thing that got it all going. Being true to myself and true to everyone else. I’m honoring my word.

How’s that for the start to a weekend?!

Peace,

Lije

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