4/10. mountains beyond mountains

Growing up, my mom was a tomboy and she has the scars on her knees and legs to prove it. They are not prominent scars but because I would see her legs looking immaculate in sheer pantyhose, it was jarring for me when I noticed them.

I asked where they came from and she casually explained her proclivity for trees, dirt and general rough-housing.

I was mortified. I liked all the same things, but I didn’t want them to literally scar me for life. So, I decided that I’d live my life with caution, never try the dirt ramps my brothers and their friends built; never jump on when they connected their bikes and skateboards with one of my jump ropes and would pedal, full-speed, around the block (this seriously happened and my brother has the filled in chipped tooth to prove it); never put myself in any situation in which I could fall and bruise. Tip-toeing through life and out of my own tomboy phase.

The universe would not let me get away that easily though. When I was sixteen and biking home from work, a pebble sitting in my path catapulted me over the handlebars of my bike where I skidded on the ground and picked up a few hundred pounds of gravel that sat embedded in my hands and arms for weeks. My bike was bent out of shape, so I had to readjust the wheel and chain then bike home covered in blood and grease.

That experience was all kinds of not-awesome, but not counting the two years of fear I had about getting back on a bike, it has left me unscarred. I have more scars on my legs from shaving than I do from actual physical activity.

In The Book of Awesome, the #998 thing out of 1000 awesome things was getting grass stains.

First of all, getting a grass stain means that you were running around at high speeds without proper equipment. Maybe you slid last-minute to avoid a frozen tag or made an awkward, somersault dive at a line-drive wiffleball. Either way, the grass stain symbolizes your large, devil-may-care investment in having balls-out fun, and that’s something worth respecting.

I would take that one step further and say that the scar, the bruise, the proof that you cared enough to throw yourself into something and attempted to tame it, that is worth respecting. Which leads me to the Longboard Girls Crew.

A group of girls who were tired of always being the minority in male-dominated crews decided to create their own community where they could feel confident, relaxed and welcome. After realizing how awesome this was, they decided to take it even further and have expanded it into an international crew—and it’s only been one year.

Two days ago they began filming a road trip documentary where female riders who have only met virtually through LGC will be meeting and longboarding together. They are being sponsored by Sector 9, Red Bull, Roxy, Nixon and Vans, to name a few, and all of this happened because of a spontaneous idea.

This video, shot by the same guy who will be producing their documentary, is stunning and if it won’t make you wish for grass stains and bruises, I hope it will at least take your breath away.

Carving the Mountains from Juan Rayos on Vimeo.


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