ONE THING ABOUT A SKATER, THEY NEVER QUIT. THEY ARE THE DEFINITION OF RESILIENCY. I BELIEVE SKATEBOARDING IS AN ART FORM, A LIFESTYLE AND A SPORT.
Let's clear the air here, by no means do I consider myself a skateboarder. Do I like to cruise around with my boyfriend while he grinds a rail or hits causal treflips? Absolutely. And Lawd, don't even get me started about the shoe game drip of this sport...sign me up for the newest SBs please and thank you. I am not here to convince you to go learn how to skate, or buy a pair of new Vans but what I am trying to do is dictate the beauty and demands of this sport that I have witnessed not only to the physical body, but to the mind and soul. Towards the end, I will speak on the importance of training and bodywork for this sport (yes, sport- hello, Olympics) and how skaters should make this a priority.
If we look up compromised in the dictionary, here is the result that you will find:
accept standards that are lower than is desirable.
If we had to define the word "compromised" through sport, you would be amiss to not say "skateboarding".
Hear me out, let's take a small piece of wood and attach four wheels to it. Cool. Now, let's gain speed, or drop into a bowl or grind a rail, and launch our bodies into the most undesirable, risky positions and land back on the ground finding balance on our board rolling away. Sure, skateboarding is a lot of "I'm going to close my eyes, cross my fingers, and pray to God of stable ankles that I stick this landing" kind of sport. But oh no, you are mistaken. It's power. It's coordination. It's confidence. It's athleticism. It's proprioception. It's strength. It's agility. At. It's. Finest. Sure, it is all these things, but what the ordinary person doesn't see is how it trickles down into every other part of a skateboarders life, it becomes woven into their DNA. Skateboarders are the gnarliest grittiest human form on the earth. They learn to attack their giants daily, not just those on the board but in life, school, relationships, and setbacks. They don't accept defeat for an answer. They just don't. I think that is one thing that is plaguing our culture- people throw up the white flag too quickly, they are too afraid to battle. Skaters are out for blood.
Let's shift directions. From a bodyworker's and trainer's point of view, I'd call you crazy if your mind wasn't blow by the movement patterns, I mean come on. Most sports are linear, but skateboarding is multidirectional and has specific needs and demands of the body. It is a very imbalanced sport, from stance (regular/goofy) to the way you ride or even style of riding. With that being said, the risk of injury is pretty high. Can we prevent injury? No. Can we reduce the risk of injury by strength training to build tissue, joint, and tendon tolerance? Yes. Skateboarding puts a lot of stress on your body and your muscles act like a mini force-field. The stronger they are, the more impact they'll absorb rather than your joints. Not only does training involve lifting, but tons of balance and agility work and putting your body in a controlled compromised position to build resiliency in those joints.
Most common injuries in skateboarding are: ankle, knee, and wrist and by building up the strength in structures around the joints will give you a little more grace when those gnarly slams happen and help minimize the chance of serious injuries and degeneration of the joints overtime. If I can make training make sense to you and help you understand why we are doing what we are, creating harder flicks or more pop, then it is easier to take ownership when we understand application.
If I skate, should I be getting bodywork? "Yes". The answer is always "yes". Almost as vital to strength training is rest and recovery. If you keep throwing your body throw the ringer and not giving your body time to repair, weakness and inflammation can lead to even more injuries. Learn to listen to your body, eat well, get regular bodywork, especially lower body to keep things loose and happy.
If I can make you shine harder in your sport from the sideline, then I know I did my job.