Flow. Not as in “whoa man you’ve got nice flow” or “look at how that river flows!” Flow is a state of existence–one in which every particle of your being is immensed in a singular moment.
Flow is feeling the click of the board beneath your feet as you pass over the cracks of the sidewalk. An invisible cord ties you to the board–a cord that can be severed any second. The next crack proves to be too wide, too deep. Your arms windmill trying to sustain your balance and that cord is pulled taught, lightning fills your finger tips and strikes at your heart.
You manage to keep yourself connected, your feet acting as reins, coaxing the board into the direction you wish. Your board eats away at the sidewalk as you flash forward.
You create your own breeze. You create your signature sound–different movements create different notes and soon you are weaving along the sidewalk creating symphonies. A bright staccato crack of a dried leaf. Wheels against concrete thundering like the echo within an echo as needle unlocks record. Like a bow to string, they caress each other, waltzing to their self propagated melody.
Nothing else matters, not even time. It is you and the board and the world around you.
First off, let me define some terms:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity–an essential component to positive psychology. Positive psychology is a scientific approach that focuses on achieving happiness. Thus, achieving flow is one step towards true happiness. Combining flow with optimism is like combining skinny jeans and booties–it’s a match made in heaven.
Positive psychology is our search for “the good life.” Marty Seligman refers to the good life as “using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification.”
Although longboarding isn’t necessarily a signature strength of mine, optimistic observation is. I look at the world around me and I feel the endless possibilities, see the raw beauty, and pause in that infinite moment. Although it seems difficult to be able to pause in a singular, infinite moment while constantly moving on a longboard, I actually feel most connected to life when I do so. It’s as if my feet never truly leave the ground, yet I’m never at a stand-still–I’m always moving forward.
Longboarding throws me headfirst, and without abandon into my flow (sometimes, being so caught up in the moment means I actually get thrown off headfirst though…). Whatever point I am at in my life, I know longboarding will be my flow-inducer.
Everyone deserves to live moments of flow. Even in dark times it is essential to experience those little moments of raw joy. So go out, slow down time, and find your flow.
Thanks for reading,
Zara Top and skort