Beck learns to skateboard: week one


Beck Iannucci

I have wanted to skateboard since middle school. Yet, I’m graduating high school in one year…

I found my spark of motivation while watching Skate the Infinity. I was hooked and at the end of episode two I was already on the target website, looking for my own board. 

Anime has always been a huge motivator for me. It inspired me to start writing, improving my drawing, learn makeup, and now to take up another new skill! It sounds bizarre, but something immediately feels different when I see it in an anime. Like, it no longer feels impossible. 

Day one

I didn’t have any expectations. My only goal was to try and get some sort of balance. The reason I never learned to ride a bike was because the balance kept on getting in the way. I just couldn’t stay up for long. Skateboarding, however, was a lot easier for balance and you can stop yourself from falling easier. That calmed my nerves a lot. Honestly, I felt cool once I started to stay on and get some momentum. I wasn’t moving fast, but I was moving. 

Day two

I felt a lot more nervous this time because it rained all morning and I tend to be a bit dramatic. I worry over everything, no matter how small the issue is, so I kept on imagining myself falling over and slipping. That, of course, would actually be fine since I’m wearing a helmet. Regardless, I didn’t fall once I got outside and started. I feel like my balance is somewhat improving but I still keep titling in the wrong direction. I’d love to be able to stay in a straight line.

Day four

This time I left the driveway. Ngl, I was incredibly nervous. I stopped to take some deep breaths when things felt overwhelming, but all in all, I felt alive. Once I actually could push off and stay on more than once, I felt like I was floating. I’m glad I decided to stop practicing in the driveway because I didn’t feel the same there. I did feel a little embarrassed when a neighborhood kid zoomed by me on their skateboard with ease, but I reminded myself that they’ve probably been skating for more than four days. I did encounter two more neighbours. A neighborhood dog freaked out when he saw me skating down the street and barked so loud that I fell off the board, startled and shaking. I took another three deep breaths and headed on my way. This time I passed by a mother and son with their dog. I have spoken to them before and they’re nice people. After I completely wiped out, they encouraged me to keep going. I did.

Day Five

I left the driveway again today and skated around the neighborhood. I saw a few neighbors that were out on a walk. They were mostly positive interactions. A young kid asked what I was riding and another told me he could bike faster than I could skate. He wasn’t wrong. 

There is something about lighthearted conversation that is surprisingly motiviating. But maybe that’s because covid is making face to face interactions so rare that talking to a neighbor is suddenly different. 

Regardless, I felt less nervous and started to move faster. Even when I started shaking, I kept going. I started to remember every ableist thing I’ve ever heard. I got to thinking about all the different ways I felt my disability would hold me back but I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more that I’m holding myself back. That realization made me pick up speed too — more than any of the other reasons. I’m incredibly proud of myself for not giving up and pushing forward. If anyone in a similar situation is reading this, I promise you, you can accomplish anything you want to. I know it’s scary but the little victories are still victories. I still have a lot to overcome so maybe this is the smallest accomplishment in the future, but it’s still something that I learned. As I skateboard, I feel free. I’m not even that good yet, but I feel amazing. Maybe it’s because I picture Langa and Reki beside me. When I stop to take a breath I see them cheering me on. I think of Langa’s own fear when he started and that fact that he still learned despite that. That’s me too. I want to chase this feeling and the safety that accompanies it.

Day six

I’m still scared every time I try to get back on, but I fight through it. I skated faster today than I ever have before. I really can’t stop. There is something in me that won’t let me give up. Joe says that part of skateboarding is about guts. I don’t have the confidence, but I definitely want to do an ollie in the future. I no longer want to get good enough to get my best friend’s house or to school. I want to do more. That’s what I felt while skating last night, anyway. There’s something about the dead of night that’s comforting. Maybe it’s because the streets are clear and I don’t have to worry about cars. I think it’s because people make me nervous so I feel at peace by myself.

Day seven

I only skated for forty minutes today, but I had a lot of fun! I attempted to race my dog. I’m having so much fun so even though there is no way I’ll learn at Langa’s pace, I’m going to keep learning!