Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate sports. I used to feel a lot of shame regarding that fact. Now I really don’t worry so much about it. I’ve tried to watch sports, and I’ve been to some games. They’re fun, but not enough to make me wanna watch sports all the time, talk about it all the time, or to get angry or upset when “my” team is doing badly.
I’m not sure what irritates me about sports so much, I guess I just don’t get it. I did realize recently that the reason I enjoy sports movies is that with a movie there’s a narrative and a storyline that I can relate to. I think people who have grown up watching sports already have a narrative in mind when watching sports and that’s why they “get it”. Without the extensive background in sports that most people possess I’m kind of lost. I grew up in one of the few states in the union that doesn’t have national league teams. Don’t bother asking what state, I’m not fucking telling you! I also grew up in a hellaciously small town, and the schools didn’t really get into sports in a big bad way either. When I listen to other people talk about sports I hear a background that I missed out on, at least materially. They see their teams as being important, they know their history, and they’re invested in their future. I just see a bunch of people wearing stupid clothes, doing things that I don’t understand or care about.
But anyway, even though I hate most organized sports, I have always related to skateboarding
. Skateboarding and punk rock
are inextricably linked, so it kinda makes sense that skateboarding appeals to me. Skating and punk share similar values and mindsets. Punk is art free from boundaries. Skateboarding is like sports without boundaries. All one needs to play punk is energy and passion, and a willingness to learn. Anyone can ride a skateboard, there are no rules, the only boundaries are fear and fatigue. Punk and skating both require perseverance and a willingness to get hurt in order to create something beautiful.
Organized sports seem so limiting and fake to me. But the idea of one person (with or without their buddies), who literally risk life and limb, in order to do something that to most people seems impossible, requires the same kind of mindset that creates great art. People create not because they want to, but because they have to. Skaters risk injury, and spend hours practicing all to do what I imagine to be the next best thing to flying under one’s own power. In so doing they create an artform, a poetry and symmetry as intricate as any dance, or any other sport.