March 12, 2020

Icons: Rodney Mullen (Skateboarding)

 "Thank you for taking what I did, and doing what I could have never imaged." - Rodney Mullen

We found an interview from The Berrics with professional skateboarder Rodney Mullen discussing resiliency, falling down, and picking yourself up again. He also talks about the gratitude he shares with the skateboarding community through the contributions of everyone, and the joy he feels when the next generation of skateboarders approach him to thank him for doing what he did. Rodney in turn says, "thank you." "It comes from an ethos of sharing and feeling connected with people through what you do... and that's not something that's often taught."

"Skateboarding changes you in ways that you could never essentially try or go learn in a few sessions. It comes from years and years of getting back up. It changes you from inside." Rodney Mullen is often considered "The Godfather" of street skateboarding. He is credited with inventing a lot of the flip tricks that shaped the sport into what it is today. But he is quick to turn around the kudos by thanking his community for building upon his work and making the community as a whole stronger. "We all find this mutual sense of belonging in shaping a community by what we do. And what we do is we individuate ourselves... I take these elements and I help form myself to separate myself and give it back. And to the rest of the community, grow."



"I think there's something about skating that's special that way." Around 8:36 he talks about the uniqueness and individuality of skateboarders as athletes. "You are on your own. Not only are you on your own... you gotta go through adversity." Noting that skateboarders often lack the supportive "entourage" that comes with playing on a team, and are typically treated like criminals by authority figures. "There's something about that... it bakes into us on a deep level. That helps shape us."

What are your experiences with skateboarding? Does skateboarding help you to express yourself as an individual? Does skateboarding make you feel more or less connected with your community?