My desire for mastery evolved out of a passion for skateboarding. It’s a solitary sport. One that’s all about personal progress. There’s no team. No coach. Just you and the board. As a kid in Ohio, I’d shovel just enough snow to clear the pavement so I could practice one trick for five hours. The conditions didn’t bother me. The weather didn’t faze me. When you’re truly passionate about something, you enter a sort of meditative state that gives you the ability to hyper-focus. It’s my love for skateboarding that drove me to Los Angeles.
When I moved here, my biggest dream was to work in a skate shop and live in a studio apartment. I was raised in an environment in which achievement wasn’t spoken about. You just followed the mold of whatever you were told to do. The life expectancy for men who live in communities like mine are decreasing due to an addiction to pain pills. It’s not a drug problem, it’s a purpose problem. Drugs and gangs are the offspring of a lack of purpose, a lack of passion. When a young person has no framework for the future, it’s easy to fall into a dark space. When you lack a vision of who you could become, you stay stuck in who you are.