This is our first rider profile submission. I appreciate Riley's courage in sharing his thoughts and experiences. I hope that more will share their stories to uplift those who are struggling.
Lately I've been noticing how skateboarding (downhill in particular) acts as sort of "forced meditation" for me. I think of meditation as the zeroing in on one thought or feeling, and dismissing all other clutter. When I point my board down a hill and step on, I am incapable of being anywhere but that present moment. My mind is never more empty. No thoughts; pure intuition. This might only be a temporary relief, because often times worries or concerns can rush back while walking up the hill, but I believe this clear mindset that skating forces you to be in can be carried over to other areas of life, and with training can be turned on or off when needed. Call it therapy, call it meditation, call it whatever you like; this feeling exists outside of language and culture. Even when fear arises at the top of a new hill or ramp, us skaters train ourselves in the way of learning to love this fear and using it to drive us, which again can translate to all other areas of life. The less you think of skating as a temporary refuse, and the more you see it as mental training, the further you can improve your day to day being. Conquering depression and anxiety isn't about as much about a fight as it is a practice.