This week I learned another lesson about perseverance and not being afraid to fail. I met Tony Hawk Thursday night at an event for the Foundation that he started. The Tony Hawk Foundation provides resources to develop skate parks in under-served communities. The non-profit makes a meaningful difference in the lives of the community members. During the speech Tony and the supporters talked about how the lessons of skateboarding, like perseverance, can be applied to life. I wasn’t sure what he meant, since I don’t skate, until the next day.
On Friday, Tony and I exchanged emails. About 2pm I received an email that he was going to be skating at the park near Chelsea Piers in NYC. I jumped in my MINI and went to check it out. It was awesome to see a professional at the top of his game doing his thing. The most intriguing part for me to watch Tony trying a certain move over and over, again and again. He didn’t nail the move but he kept trying. By about 3:45pm, after more than hour of skating, Tony had ripped through his pant legs and had blood on his arm, hand and leg. Finally his shoelace ripped, which seemed to be a bigger problem.
Even though Tony Hawk is considered one of the best skaters in the world, he seemed unaffected by not achieving the move. I could see the focus and intensity, “tenacity” his girlfriend corrected, with which Tony kept at it. Sherpa-like indeed.