I am watching Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall off which is a reminder that real-life, when filtered and presented in a certain way, sometimes has every bit as good dramaturgy as any fiction story.
A few times during the documentary, he and others suggest that he deals with his pain through skateboarding.
A RELATIVELY HEALTHY WAY TO DEAL WITH OUR PAIN
Of the many strategies we can use to deal with our emotional pain, that one is relatively healthy.
There are many worse ways to do it, including drugs, anger, depression, mindless entertainment, bigotry, fundamentalism, and pouring our energy into less life-centered careers.
Skateboarding is also something obviously he loves. It has given him a successful career and a way to provide for himself and his family. And it has given inspiration and joy to many.
And this strategy, like any strategy that doesn’t deal with our pain directly, doesn’t heal the wounds. They’ll still be there and they will color our perception and life until they are dealt with.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DEAL WITH OUR PAIN MORE DIRECTLY?
What happens if we deal with our pain more directly and find healing for our pain? Does our passion fall away?
As so often, the answer may be that it depends.
When there is less need to deal with the pain through a passion, other motivations – existing or new ones – come more in focus. If we have a deep love for it, as he seems to have, then that love will come even more to the surface. We will likely still engage in our passion, perhaps even as much as before, although from a slightly different set of motivations.
And if there isn’t much love for what we are doing, we may decide it’s not worth it or we may find another set of motivations that make sense for us. I am reminded of the difference between athletes here. The ones who do it for their love of the sport often continue even after their professional career is over. And the ones who did it for less heartfelt motivations often quit. (And may even swap it for smoking and eating as exemplified by a well-known female Russian skier.)
A NOTE ABOUT DANGER
Towards the end of the documentary, they talk about the danger inherent in what they are doing.
The sensible choice is to take it easy and don’t risk so much. And yet, going full in is that’s what gives them joy and a sense of meaning. Life is not always about being sensible.
Enough people live sensibly, so there is room for people who stretches it a bit further.
Tony Hawk documentary
Hints that he is dealing with his pain through skateboarding
Has served him well. Many worse ways to do it. Provided income and opportunities etc.
Often very good
If deal with the pain more directly, and there is genuine love and passion for it, then will keep going from a slightly different motivation
If there is not genuine love, interest, and passion for it, may fall away