Don’t let the title deceive you! There is still so much improvement to be made, and I don’t think I will ever reach an endpoint in this learning journey. This is very much a skill I will carry forwards into my life as I have found a new hobby that I love.
First, I am so glad that I chose this skill for my learning project. When I was deciding what I wanted to learn, I was considering learning a new instrument or learning sign language. While those are both very worth-while learning opportunities, I am thankful that I chose something that was further outside of my comfort zone. I came to love longboarding far more than I expected, and I learned a lot of other interesting things along the way!
Here’s a short recap of my seven-week learning journey:
My journey began with filming the basis of my skills in the parking lot across from my house. I had the stance and basic moves down, but I was very slow and wobbly.
Week 2: Falling = Success!
I began pushing myself a little more this week by taking some risks and falls, which paid off as I became more comfortable on my board. I started this Wakelet to keep track of the resources I was using, and I watched a lot of How-To videos by Hans Wouters.
Week 3: Surfin’ on the Street
I took my longboard out of the parking lot and down the street. I found this new app to help me track my progress, and got inspired by finding longboarders like Valerie Kindlova to follow on social media.
This week I dove into the anatomy and maintenance of the longboard. It was so fun to learn the mechanics of what’s going on under my feet when I’m skating, and I also had the fun challenge of learning how to use a new app. I’m glad I chose to learn InShot because I have since used it for so many video projects!
Week 5: Indoor Longboarding?
The beginning of Week 5 marked the beginning of my two-week pavement withdrawal. This is when I began my full time summer job and moved out to the lake. The change in scenery forced me to get creative and practice the physical elements of longboarding without a longboard, inspired again by Valerie Kindlova!
Week 6: In the Face of My Limitations
If longboarding was a step out of my comfort zone, this week was a giant leap. I continued on in my balancing act by practicing yoga almost every day. My online teacher for this practice was Yoga with Kassandra! It was amazing how many balances transferred over to elements of longboarding.
Week 7: Last Longboard Weekend!
As a final goal before wrapping up this learning project, I wanted to practice hopping onto my longboard more smoothly. The night before I went into the city to practice this skill, I was literally dreaming about it. So I am very glad that I had the time to practice this weekend, and that I made such quick improvement!
If you want a quick look at how far I’ve come in this journey, all you have to do is watch my first and last videos. The difference is huge! Here are some of the improvements I’ve made:
Also, here is a look at the difference in my statistics from the BTB Sports Tracker App:
More importantly, here are some of my big takeaways from this learning project:
Trying new things is always worth it!
I pushed myself out of my comfort zone in many different ways, and it helped me learn more about myself. It also helps to find out what works and what doesn’t. For example, I found some new apps that I love as well as some that I probably will never use again. Best of all, by trying something new, I’ve found a new hobby that will keep me learning new things and staying active.
Being active is so much fun.
When I was younger, I used to think physical activity was strenuous, frustrating, and uninteresting. However, I came to realize that I just need to find physical activities that I actually enjoy (not everyone likes running in circles or lifting heavy things!). This is a great reminder to bring forwards into my teaching career as well! Being active is such a wonderful way to clear my head and feel more present. Since most of my other hobbies are fairly low-key, introverted activities, continuing to longboard will add some healthy variety to my life.
Vulnerability can lead to confidence.
When I began making YouTube videos, I felt very self-conscious talking to the camera. Now, it feels so comfortable and normal. Filming myself doing physical activities that I wasn’t good at yet was a challenge to my confidence. I also remember the first time I went longboarding out on the street, and when I passed by a man walking down the same path, I fell off my board because he said something like “Nice tricks.” I experienced so many uncomfortable and embarrassing moments throughout these weeks that ultimately helped me to be more confident in my imperfections and be more vulnerable to the world around me.
I am going to keep longboarding. Catch me on the flippity flip my friends.