SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

A skateboard was the first object that gave me a sense of purpose

Amputee

Oscar Lorento

The walk of life

What does a one legged guy have in common with all walks of life you ask? I don't know. I believe that I am on that journey to the answer and the answer began revealing itself 15 years ago. Factors that play a heavy part to that answer have been relevant my entire life, but the biggest factor came in my teenage years when I was first introduced to a piece of wood, 4 wheels, and a pair of steel trucks. A skateboard was the first object that gave me a sense of purpose. A lack of purpose came from traditional sports where, because of my 'disability,' I was always chosen last for PE teams. The unsportsmanlike demeanor that my peers gave me when they tried to include me in a pick up game of basketball spoke volumes with them not even uttering a single word. I knew they didn't want me on their team and every week I built a thick skin to the negative comments spewed my way as am adolescent.

No one mistreated because they do not look like everyone else

Alas there was hope and light at the end of the tunnel. After finally finding someone who didn't seem to care about my physical appearance a friendship formed with a skateboarder from my school. Upon receiving my first skateboard Pandora's box was opened and a revelation of unmatched proportions superseded their way into every aspect of my life. It was here at the skateparks where no matter of age, race, gender orientation, religion, no one was turned away. No one was given a dirty look because they could not score a lay up. No one mistreated because they do not look like everyone else. All walks of life are embraced and celebrated. So what does a one legged guy have in common with all walks of life? My answer would be that in skateboarding, a sport that has and will be seen in a negative light to some, has changed and made itself adaptable to the folks that are participating in it. It was through skateboarding for the past 15 years that this one legged guy has made friends with all walks of life because we share a common bond thru a piece of wood, 4 wheels and steel trucks.

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