Sunday, May 6, 2018

My Skateboard Hall of Fame Induction 2018 Speech

I'm so honored to be inducted to the Skateboard Hall of Fame 2018. It has been a whirl went of a week. I want to thank IASC and Skateboard Hall of Fame for putting on a great event. I have to thank John Ravitch and Melissa Yinger for helping me edit my speech and bio. I rewrote my speech like 4-5 times. I wanted to thank everyone in it but John reminded me it was about my skate career and what skateboard meant to me. What three things did I want to say. He's had more experience as a speaker and he gave me great insight to how to speak and told me to relax and take the nervous energy as excitement. Big thanks to Cindy Whitehead of Girl is not a 4 letter word, who was inducted in 2016 for her tips since she went through it and knew the ins and outs. Thanks to Laura Thornhill for navigating me through the steps as well, all the key deadline dates for the bio, photos and all hotel info the VIP seats and killer inductee swag bag. Big shout to Steven King who helped fill 3 VIP tables with a serious cool crew of friends, many who drove hours from Northern California to make the venue.

Here is my speech I updated a few words I had changed to be as close to the words I spoke that night. I used an app that was great to practice thanks Jack Smith of the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum for the tip. For some reason that night it didn't work as planned it started and stopped so I had to push it with my finger. NO big deal. My speech in practice was under 6 minutes. I didn't want to have one of the long boring rambling speeches that bored f out to everyone on such a long night as it was.

Thank you to Don Bostick who introduced to come out to do the speech. Don's been a huge part of skateboarding and I hope to see as an Icon SHOF Award winner one day. We go way back from skateboarding for Santa Cruz Skateboards back in the 70's.

Hey. Hello everyone! Hello!

Thank you, Don, for that special introduction. You have been front and center to this sport for decades - I know its been a lifetime commitment and we have all benefited from it - thx. So (pause) you’ve got to know one thing: I am SO AMPED to be here tonight! I feel like I’m standing on a big gnarly 9-foot ramp ready to drop in to a badass hill! (I honestly never thought tonight would happen. Being here with all of you is such an awesome feeling.) Thank you IASC and Skateboard Hall of Fame, and all of my friends!

Along the way, I have made some really amazing friends—too many to mention—but I can tell you we have three full Oyama tables of them here tonight.

So here is the deal - I’ve never been the best skater. Initially, I didn’t skate for contest titles. I just skated for the fun of it - the mastery of shooting down a hill or reaching for a frontside grind in a 10-foot pool. It was always just me and my board. Period. And it still is–cuz I am still pushing. Like many of you, I just love to skate. It’s amazing that so many long-time skaters are still ripping hard and many others are revisiting it with their kids, sharing the legacy of parks, hills and vert.

And as a Mom myself, this is so gratifying to see. You know we have successfully ‘jumped the gap” when a new generation of kids and parents are riding together in the same bowl. How cool is that? Where I ride, we are the “morning crew,” getting our runs in before work or at lunch before the young kids have gotten their sorry asses out of bed! (ha!)

At my first downhill skate contest in 1979 at Capitola, I was the only female and came in 8th among the pack of men. Who knew that downhill skateboarding would grow to what it is today? I’m really proud to be one of the early pioneers in vert, downhill and slalom racing. I skated with many awesome women many which are here tonight.

Thanks to Richard Novak and Jay Shuirman for sponsoring me on Team Santa Cruz, and to all the brands associated with NHS when I was 16. Thank you to Fausto and Eric of Independent Trucks for giving me a set of the amazing suspension trucks that actually turned. Their trucks have kept many of us riding from the 70s to present day.

I want to quickly thank my Dad for taking me to skateparks up and down the California coast when I was 14. Luckily for me, he was a professional photographer - capturing decades of photos of my skating. He never told me I couldn’t do something, and to this day he is supportive (and unfazed) that I’m still skating. Thx, Dad.

More to the point—I never thought I’d still be skating today, not to mention still improving. Though I won the slalom World Championships 15 years ago—I am still racing and competing. Pushing it. I learned to tail drop on my 50th birthday—because I still have this vision of hitting coping like we did at Winchester back in the 70s. Though I’m twice, in some cases 3 times older than the other kids in the bowl, I still feel like a kid myself.

Slalom racing is another story. Its a rush and being older is an advantage - experience really matters. You launch off a ramp on a steep decline before threading thru 60-plus cones in 22 seconds—it’s a full-on head-head battle. Races are lost or won by inches and hundredths of a second. I really love it. It fills my highly competitive side–something that my fellow racers know all too well - I also get to race (and beat) some of the guys.

As you heard from Don, I have been riding for 45 years, and about 5 years ago I was beginning to slow down just a bit. Lose my edge. I could barely get through the final rounds of racing. So I dug in and went from being out of shape to a much stronger version of myself in under a year due to starting CrossFit at 53. Now I can power to the finish line of long gnarly courses and even foot brake at high speeds. Sometimes stopping is the most challenging part of racing!!!!

Beyond racing, I am really proud of the work I did with Board Rescue a skate non-profit Gary Holl founded to help underprivileged children enjoy skateboarding. We donated nearly half a million dollars of equipment to over 5,000 in-need kids by leveraging donations from NHS, Skate 1, Sk8kings, Levis, Google and many others.

If you know me, I am passionate about helping women in our sport. But no one spends more time at it then my long time friend Cindy Whitehead. She spends countless hours gathering news and key milestones all around female skaters with her Girl is not a 4 letter word brand and blog and donates her money to support women skaters. The number of women skaters ripping today is jaw dropping. Read my lips: The women are coming up fast, and I predict we will have some global superstars before Tokyo in 2020. Get ready.

So, thank you. It’s been a great 45 years of riding, racing, designing and representing this sport, I plan to keep riding. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I have to stop. Ever. It has been an awesome life full of skateboarding and I’m looking forward to many more sessions with you. We are the first generation of skateboarders skating into our 60s and beyond - how crazy is that?

Finally, a big thanks to my amazing husband, Greg, and my wonderful kids, Taylor and Ryan, for letting me go ride, race and carve bowls pretty much every weekend.

Thank you all and remember - stay badass!

Leading up to that night there have been many things that have happened to get to the SHOF. Thank you Sevan and Tyson for wanting to make this a CrossFit story to add to the amazing stories that CrossFit shares on their website. I want to share my story about how CrossFit has made me a better version of myself because of my change in diet and constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. I'm getting my own video filmed by Lindsay and Elliot of Schrock Films from Austin. Long story short they arrived a day later than planned so we compressed a two day video production into one day and drove to Anaheim with my family. Thanks to Brad for organizing our travel we took the CrossFit company Mercedes 12 seat Sprinter van that had under 1,000 miles on it. Which I still have sitting in front of my house that I want to take to the car wash and return.

So Thursday morning they did a video of my workout at the regular morning CF class with amazing coach Jenny Lau it was Front Squat day Front squat 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps, which was good since the day before was 5,000 K run which was 3 miles on the road and it took me 39.59 just under 40 minutes. (I'm slow.) I PR'ed (Personal Record) 126.5 lbs. after working out. We went to the NHS Museum thank you Rich and Bob for letting us shoot in the museum. They shot my board and safety gear that is there. We drove to LA in the van.

The next day we did an interview in my hotel room, after a short break in 100 degree weather we went to check out a skatepark that was close by. It was full of guy skating and it was a small more street style park. I wasn't feeling it as far as skating. I looked up and found another park 6 miles away in Fullerton. We went there. It was a cool small park with banks and coping more my style. When I first got there it was a bit intimating since there were guy already skating. By the time I left it we were doing selfies and chatting it up. We raced back to the hotel and I had an two hours before heading to the venue. The rest was epic. More to come...

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