The life enhancer
A little while ago I stumbled across a really good interview with Adam Colton. All of it is worth reading, but the following paragraph really grabbed my attention:
Is longboarding a lifestyle? Explain…
Yeah, longboarding can be a life style. But for me it is more of a life enhancer. I think it is important to have variety in your life and not be solely dedicated to one thing. When someone says, “LONGBOARDIN is MY LIFE” I am like ahhh there is more to life than longboarding. I feel longboarding can help you explore and get into all kinds of things. For example: distance longboarding has gotten me back into backpacking. Being around the longboard scene has inspired me to get involved with photography and video. Longboarding has allowed me to meet a variety of friends, some of these friends like rock climbing so I have gotten into that. Let longboarding be a way of finding other sweet things to do as well, I think that is the best way to approach it.
As everyone has seen, the small faction of distance longboarding has really seem some incredible growth in the past year or so with an ever increasing number push races and marathons being organised. During that time, I was able to spend a lot of time putting together trips, events, gaining knowledge about equipment, and helping to promote newsworthy stories on my blog as well as Skatefurther.com. I hope that my enthusiasm has always shone through. Probably the best thing is that I have made some awesome friends along the way. Some of them I skate with regularly, some I have never met before, but that does not change the bond between us or the stoke I feel when hearing from them and reading about their adventures.
Perhaps it was the Winter drawing closer, but around September last year I started to really yearn for a change. I’d lived in Paris for over 4 years, and as much as I love it, (I hope this article provides enough proof) I needed to get out, I just could not see myself here any more.
Thinking about it, it’s been going on for longer. The few trips I have talked about and this post were enjoyable weekends away. After checking that the suitability for longboarding (good pavements? Check. Hills? Check) often another question would creep into my head: could I live there? So I looked for work…in the UK and in France but with the recession just lifting it wasn’t quite the right time to start looking. Then I thought, how about other French-speaking parts of the world?
Canada, home of many things longboard-related with awesome scenery and mountains could be good. Hmmm…too far from Europe. Belgium? Too many bad memories of pain during CaRott and quite frankly too flat for the most part. I needed more mountains in my life. Then came the genius moment: Switzerland!
Home of the Milka cow, amazing lakes, mountains, fondue, a National network of cyclepaths and a small but seemingly thriving (at least in the past) longboard scene – it looked good on all fronts. There is easy access to nature and possibility to enjoy not only one, but ALL the sports I love is something I have been dreaming of for a long time.
It was time to blog less and be proactive and get where I wanted to go. So I applied for jobs, applied for some more, had very secretive telephone interviews and got on a train bound for Lausanne during a snowstorm. With more than 3 hours delay I finally made it to the interview, had it, then got back on the train to Paris:
– time spent in Switzerland : 2.5 hours
– purchases: 1 chocolate bar
Then came the announcement just before Christmas. The ‘you’ve got the job’ moment and the slight feeling of free-fall as you realise the implications. The moving, the house hunting, the goodbyes, the leaving friends, family, places and other things behind. I’ll be moving at the end of Feburary, which is very soon! Is it worth it? Is it the right things to do? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure – I’ll regret it if I don’t go there to find out!
So what does this mean?
Perhaps a small identity crisis for my blog. Is Switzerland in Europe? Officially no, so the title of the blog might have to change. Will I stop blogging or contributing to Skatefurther? No! It will almost certainly be less that it has been, but I really want to keep recording my various adventures and see where this takes me. I’m also more motivated than ever to try and beat my time at this year’s Goodwood, but that means lots of training and some healing on behalf of my knee first.
Another aim is to try and create/motivate/build-up a distance scene in Switzerland…that might be a little more tricky given that I’ll be deep in DH country, but I’ll give it a go. Another thing is that I will definitely be keeping in touch with everyone I’ve got to know and continue to have my ear to the ground for all things longboarding. I’m going to get more variety into my life but more importantly, I’m going to ensure that longboarding continues to be “a life enhancer”.