26 years old and still skateboarding – it boggles my mind sometimes. Most of my friends that I grew up skating with haven’t touched a board in years, but after 16 years of skateboarding I’ve never been able to put it down. I’ve had my moments of thinking my time may be up, but there has always been something in me that won’t let me actually commit to it.
August 2013 I moved to Florida to work with an action sports ministry just after I finished my first video part, “It is Written.” Going into Florida my main concern was continuing the strides I was making in filming and pushing what little career I had going as a skateboarder. I was doing quite a bit of traveling and doing lots of demos with Embassador Skateboards, I had just gotten hooked up with Varsity Shades, things were going good. Then I chose to take a little risk and move across the country to do full time skate ministry, only to learn that my expectations going in were very unrealistic, causing me to go into burnout mode. I left Florida and moved to the sacramento area after being there for 8 months when I was supposed to be there for a year, and I left thinking I was pretty much done with skateboarding and any kind of ministry that may go with it. I moved to sacramento for a girl that I had started talking to when I was in Florida, and When I got here, my only concern was to find a job that I could make a decent living from and get married as quickly as possible. Because of my experiences in Florida, I was able to shift all my focus on getting married and away from anything related to skateboarding. Skateboarding seemed to feel more and more like a waste of time. All my friends that I skated with and were involved in Embassador had high hopes for me coming back to California and picking up where I left off – only to find out that my priorities had changed and none of it really mattered to me anymore. I had become someone that I had always despised, someone that gave up skateboarding and their dreams for a stable job and a wife (except I was only ever aspiring for those, they never actually came). Luckily, that relationship ended after 9 months, which put me into a bit of a daze after building my entire life around it. I had refused to accept that it was really over for months. But my heavenly father started his graceful process of gradually putting me back together and making me into the person he created me to be. After months and months of trying to push skateboarding away, God would gracefully bring it back to me. Through all this there were many times where I wanted to tell my sponsors that I was done; I did tell Embassador that I could no longer be Am (semi-pro), but I never told Varsity anything, thinking they would pick up on my change of priorities and I would eventually just drift away. But both companies surprisingly never gave me the boot or gave up on me.
After many months of rebuilding, uncertainty, and speculation, God has finally brought me back to a place where I feel like I am using skateboarding for a good purpose again. I’m filming regularly again, spending a lot of time at skateparks getting to know people, and doing skate demos with Embassador (even booking a bit of my own that has caused me to make a little money from skateboarding). Paul says in Philippians 1:6, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” This verse essentially sums up this whole journey. Even in my running and confusion, thinking I knew what I needed and what was best for me, God never left me or gave up on me. God has placed me in a position where I can use skateboarding to bring glory and honor to Him, and even when I tried to run away from it He was there guiding me back to it. Our God is so good, it took some gnarly life circumstances for me to really see that, and I’m sure I’ll see it even more as I get older and go through more things in life. In closing, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).