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It’s funny, who would have ever thought that riding on a piece of wood with four wheels could do so many positive things? Ever since I first stepped on a skateboard at nine years old, I’ve looked at the world a different way. Park benches and handrails weren’t just everyday, mundane objects anymore; they were a canvas with limitless potential for me and my roller plank. Intrigued by any concrete structure, I began to open my mind and let my creativity shape the way I could use the world around me with my skateboard. Through this odd way of life I have met so many influential individuals and gained tons of new amigos. The energy and positivity that skateboarders harness sparks a tight community in every city. Those who ride these roller planks connect and feed off each other because we know we all have the same mindset. We’re in this because we don’t want some coach telling us how to throw a ball. Skateboarding is inherently independent. If you want to get better, go out and get some, but no one’s there to tell you to do it. No trainers, parental units, leagues, nothing. It’s all on you. Greatest of all, no one’s telling you how to do it. However you interpret the use of the board is up to you. That’s why skateboarders cringe when you call it a sport. Every skateboarder’s style is so unique because there are no standards or limits as to what you can or should do. Through skateboarding I learned the art of true intrinsic motivation; a strong self-driven desire to improve in something. It’s amazing how many skateboarders are so talented, in comparison to the number of so-called “skate board teachers”. How many of those are there in the world? Three? Maybe four? I’ve certainly never heard of ‘em. So what does that mean? An incredible amount of self-harnessed and self-taught talent. Don’t underestimate the power of this seemingly frivolous activity. In the corrupt and often dangerous streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, an organization has arisen called Skateistan. In their skate facility in Kabul they have transformed the lives of thousands of young people, giving them a positive and motivational lifestyle previously unbeknownst to them. In the last few years they have made skateboarding officially Afghanistan’s largest sport among women. Skateboarding has prestige, and it doesn’t discriminate. In essence, skateboarding has reshaped my world and has crafted a new perspective on life that I can explore and enjoy. It’s all about positive impact, however big or small. And just know, wherever you are right now, there’s a crew of dedicated young people in your vicinity, sizzling with passion and originality, fixing to change the world for the better.