It has been almost 3 months since my last confession blog post, forgive me for I have sinned been distracted by life’s unpredictability. These past few months have been a difficult and trying time for everybody, in such the depressed and turbulent global economic environment that we find ourselves in. I’ve spent the better part of this time stopping the bleeding of my own finances, and making the decision that it is finally time for me to leave Arizona.
I discovered something today, and without wanting to sound new agey or anything like that, I’m just going to come out and say it. I found Flow. OK, so not my “One Thing” in life to pursue in order to reach complete happiness ala City Slickers LOL… no, but profound non the less.
It’s really a rediscovery that in one small moment you can go from being just ok, just emotionally normal or average, to being transported instantaneously to a place where you are at complete peace, completely content, and experiencing true blissful happiness. Hyper-focused in the moment. To go one step further I feel this should be an intrinsic experience where you are doing something, not where the outcome or good emotions are dependent upon someone else, or anything else for that matter. (Written before reading about Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s State of Flow Componenets. Check that out for a deeper understanding of what I’m talking about.)
Experiencing this for yourself can totally allow you to be able to describe an incredible experience in a captivating way to anyone, which is especially beneficial when meeting and connecting with women. It can help you understand a girl’s emotions for example, when she is doing the things that she is most passionate about. Being able to describe another person’s experience can be extremely powerful in bringing the two of you closer together. Beyond all that though, it’s just plain good, and bloody necessary to have things you do in life that transport you to a meditation like state.
So how did this all come about I hear you thinking to yourselves. Well, for me it all started last night when I found myself on a rooftop club with complete strangers. We were all getting progressively more intoxicated just like old friends, and that lead to my hangover this morning.. and let me tell you something, you don’t want to wake up on a boat with a hangover!
Wait scratch that.. this story began sometime around a year ago, when I bought my first skateboard at the age of 35. It was odd because I’d never skated in my life, never thought it was cool, nor had I ever been interested in skateboarding in the least. That was until a year ago. I stumbled around on it for a while, and after an intense week of boarding around parking lots late at night I got what I can only describe as heel splints, kind of like shin splints only in my kicking heel. Then I wiped out on it gouging bloody holes into the palms of my hands. I got better at it, but really only skated to starbucks on the odd occasion.
Why did I start skateboarding at 35? I just wanted to. You see I have a tendency to buck the system, to do whatever I feel like doing, or at least learn about and try new things. I hate the idea of being limited by other people’s opinions.. or by my age, or any such other ridiculous things that have an annoying tendency to restrict our lives. Mutterings of “social programming” flutter across the room.
Skating around, wiping out, and getting my infamous ‘heel splints’ definitely lead to some wonderful interactions with women. From joking about me just getting my first board at 35, to asking them if there is such a thing as heel splints as an opener. It made for fun conversation. It was definitely a plus with younger women, and I always like to let younger girls know my age in a casual way early on. Thus it never weirds them out later.
More accurately though it’s a longboard, and when stood on it’s end comes up to my chest, so as longboards go it’s a pretty long longboard. Try saying that with a mouthful of cheerios. Arizona really isn’t that conducive to longboarding around town so it’s been sitting in my garage gathering dust for months now. That’s my excuse anyway. (JDOG shifts his eyes tellingly.. they dart to the ground)
OK so back to my story. On Thursday afternoon I was all packed for my California road trip, and just before leaving, I saw the longboard sitting there all forsaken. It just seemed so.. lonely, and I paused for a moment to remember the fond times we shared together. I said, “fuck it! You are coming with me!” I placed it on the passenger seat and we headed to San Diego.
Point to point the drive took me roughly 7 hours, and included 30 minutes driving through my first dust storm. Happily travelling 80 mph one minute, and then a second later having thick waves of sand slamming into your car aint fun, especially when another second later you realise that you can’t see ANYTHING.. no road.. no other cars.. no nothing. I actually felt a pang of panic hit my stomach knowing that at any moment I could be heading into some mangled pile up. Of course I slowed down, put on the fog lights and was fine.. but if you’ve never driven through a real dust storm on a highway it’s definitely an experience.
Whenever I arrive in San Diego I feel good. Having left 100 degree Arizona heat behind, I welcomed the cooler air, and continued to the marina to my friend’s boat. Yes sir I’m staying on a 47ft motor yacht for the next few days before heading up to LA. How cool is that!
Yesterday afternoon we were having a beer on my friend’s neighbor’s yacht, which seems like the daily activity around here. His 20 year old daughter was with us (grin), and invited me to join her friends on the town. They turned out to be a totally cool bunch that took me from dive corner bar to rooftop club, overlooking the baseball stadium. Once in the club though I joined another group of complete strangers, who I closed out the place with. Very fun and unexpected night on the town. My new best friend became the actress Michelle Ewin.
Flash forward back to this morning. “Uugghh.. I feel like crap.. and why is the room moving up and down.. shit I’m on a boat with a hangover.. I hate hangovers.. and right now boats are not on my favorite list.. uuuggghhh.” A glass of water, 2 advil, a shower, and a queazy skateboard ride to starbucks.. some phone calls.. coffee.. a pastry.. and ok feeling better now.
|Since arriving at the marina I’ve been skateboarding all over the place. The long boardwalk makes it the perfect place. This morning was different. I put on my noise isolating headphones, selected a playlist from my iphone, and started skating.All of a sudden I was in my own personal sound bubble, and was literally gliding. I think I left earth for a minute.. on a figgin skateboard. I carved back and forth, whizzing past people walking around on their two legs.. how old school is that.. ha!|
|“Sometime Around Midnight,” by The Airborne Toxic Event
I was in the zone. I had no care for anything else going on in the world. I was 100% immersed in the moment. I think that I might have actually been kind of dance-boarding to the music. Is that even a term? Not a flattering visual perhaps, but I had absolutely no feelings of self-consciousness. It was really like being on some kind of drug, only better. So this is Flow. I guess it’s been a while. How long has it been for you? Perhaps it’s time for you to find your one thing that transports you to your own state of flow.
This reminds me of a guy I met a few weeks ago at a new skatepark in Tucson, Arizona. He was a short middle-aged fellow, who was sporting some heavy duty pads, and a helmet. He skated a pretty scary 15ft bowl. Only the old timers dare skate that thing, all of whom wore pads. You literally got butterflies in your stomach just standing on the edge looking down, let alone skating it at speed whilst getting air off the coping.
We spoke to him afterwards, and asked him what it was like. “It’s like heaven,” he said. “It’s heaven,” he repeated. I joked to my friend, “Wow.. I wish I did something that feels like heaven.” Well he was really describing being in the zone. It’s a universal experience. Recognize it, do it, and try explaining it to someone else. Then ask her what she does that transports her to this place.
Update: This is really what board dancing looks like! These guys are amazing.. but then they should be as it’s a promo video for Loaded boards. I want one lol.