When I was 7 years old, back in 1975 I started skateboarding. You know, back then the boards were totally different, and most were made of plastic and very thin, but I loved it. I didn’t know anything about tricks or any kind of fancy things at all. My friends and I would just skate down the street or down the nearest big hill and that was about it, but again, I loved it. It was just kind of a fun thing for us to do to waste time, just another game, but as I got older and the sport of skateboarding exploded things changed. I remember for my 11th birthday I received a “Dave Andrecht” full size pool board, it was massive, and I got pads, helmet and the full nine yards. It was pretty cool, and I was very happy. I didn’t even know what pool skating was back them, but I just rode the board up and down the street. Luckily for me a few months later I moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Scottsdale, Arizona, which at the time had a pretty big skate scene. I was a total newbie, but I still went out with my friends and tried to skate.
Looking back now I must have looked really silly, and I’m sure I did, but still I loved skating. More years went by and I grew up a little, although things were tough for me in life, I always had a skateboard. It was never far from my side, and for me and my friends that’s pretty much all we did. I was never that good, but then one day when I was about 18 things just clicked, and suddenly I was able to do tricks that I had never been able to do before, nothing major, just maybe a “front side” air or something like that. I kept skating well into my 20’s, but then noticed I had no time and stopped. I picked it back up shortly for a while in my 30’s, but again, I was too busy, and had an accident that caused me to quit. The other day I was walking in the park near my house and I saw some kids skateboarding and I thought, man, I really should start skating again. I know I’m 42, but I don’t care, this is just like anything else, it’s just like what we tell the students. It’s never to late to start learning English, or it’s never too late to start anything new. So, sometime in the near future, I’m going to buy another skateboard, and I’m going to start skating again. To be honest I’m ashamed of myself that I ever stopped. My friends are in their 40’s and 50’s and they still skate every week. I can do it too. I just wish I hadn’t stopped.
So just what does this have to do with learning English you might well ask. I guess what I’m trying to say is that half the time we’re learning something we just don’t feel as if we’re getting anywhere. But if you keep at it one day everything just works. I’ve seen it happen with quite a few students at Smith’s 英会話 Hirakata. English, like skateboarding, isn’t something you learn overnight but over time. The big difference between the two is that one you can use all over the world and doesn’t leave scars on your knees.