Looking stupid in the name of progress: Old dudes on skateboards
When was the last time you did something that made you feel like you looked stupid to others? When was the last time you put yourself out there in a way that was uncomfortable to you because it was totally out of your comfort zone? When was the last time you chose to trade your dignity for a new experience?
I was about 24 or 25 years old when I watched Dogtown and Z-Boys with a couple of really good friends. It’s a movie about the pioneers of skateboarding. We loved it, this was pure awesomeness!
But it also made us regret to not have gotten into skateboarding when we were kids, and how sad it was to have missed such an awesome thing.
A great idea!
Until someone had a “great” idea: why not buy skateboards now and start skating?
So we all ran out, bought skateboards and went to a park where skaters hung out. We put our boards on the ground, looked around, and there were all these 12 year old kids zipping and zapping around on their skateboards, doing crazy tricks and flips.
And here we were, a bunch of 5 older dudes stepping awkwardly on their new skateboards, looking like total idiots.
We did our first skating attempts, tried a few things, got bruised and left.
The next day? 2 out of 5 remained.
The other three had enough of skating. Do you know why? Not because it’s painful to fall on your ass. But because it’s even more painful to look like an idiot.
It’s not about skating.
Now I’m still great at landing on my ass when I step on a skateboard. But more important than skating skills is your willingness to look stupid in the name of progress.
When was the last time you were a beginner at something?
When was the last time you tried something new? We all feel too important about ourselves - it’s in our nature. You need to battle that sense of vanity by making a fool out of yourself every now and then.