Jeremy - Auburn, Washington
Entered on November 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

NPR Essay

One time a police officer told me that horseplay wouldn’t get me anywhere. I believe differently. I was skating at the Les Grove Park by my house. Everything was so quiet, nobody was talking we were all concentrated on landing a trick. It was almost dinner time. We pulled one of those picnic tables on top of another picnic table so it was at an angle. Not even twenty minutes later a bike officer pulled up and asked me to read the sign. I agreed and read it, “No Skateboarding, No Bikes, and No Horseplay.” He then proceeded to tell me that I couldn’t skate in the park and that it was a crime because their where signs posted stating no skating. We had to leave the premises and ended up skating at the library.

I have seen signs all around that say “No Skateboarding, No Bikes, No Horseplay.” Signs like these are really provoking. I believe that if you can make a living out of something it can’t be horseplay. Skateboarding to me is freedom… the ability to do anything you can make your feet do. To do whatever whenever. That feeling is overbearing. To be able to skate a gap, rail, or a stair set takes commitment. If you commit and not be scared to scrap up your knees a little bit, you could even skateboard.

For some people skateboarding comes easily. On the other hand there are others who just push around on a board for the look of it. It is easy for me to tell you what most tricks are. When it comes to school, math is very challenging. Skateboarding just comes to me. Police and others look at “skaters” and see trouble. They are always pestering us. We won’t be doing anything but a couple flat ground tricks, and they will kick us out. They come up to us like we are committing a crime. Like we are the bad guys. To me, this is profiling. There are stores out there that won’t let us bring our boards inside. They tell us to leave it by the front door making it so someone could easily walk right by and snatch it up.

What if my job was to wake up everyday and skate. Wake up, eat, and then go skate. Skateboarding has done a lot for me. It has changed my personality. It has changed who I am. Growing up in a small farm town in Iowa to living in Auburn, Washington was a big change. Nobody skated in Iowa. I tried to skate but it didn’t work out. I stopped and the started again when I was about fifteen. Skateboarding is my daily routine. It changed my life.

Skateboarding is much more that a sport. It is also transportation. There has been a few times where I can’t even get on my skateboard because it’s a “public area.” A lot of residents in Auburn look at us and watch us like we are an outcast. Ever since I started skateboarding, I met a lot of people. All of them are like me, and yet we are all different from each other. We all share the same passion and love for skateboarding, but the styles and techniques people ride with are all different.