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The Real Tony Hawk This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Spending the day in New York City is not unusual for me, but one day the city I knew so well turned a dream into reality for me. I was to interview Tony Hawk, the world's greatest skateboarder. At first, I knew him as the guy in the video game, or the guy who completed the 900, but now I know why he is the best skateboarder of all time.

I waited in the lobby and met the other interviewers, Jiadai and skateboarder Jeff. We got acquainted and ultimately realized how different we all were from each other. One thing we all shared, though, was our excitement at meeting Tony Hawk, someone we all admired.

After what seemed like hours of picking the best questions, we were ready. All we waited for now was the call from Tony Hawk.

Then there was a knock at the door.

"Who's there?" we asked.

"Tony Hawk."

Tony Hawk, who I thought was bigger than life, came in the room and then the interview began.

He talked about how his life was not always so miraculous. He mentioned one day he was skating on top of the world, and the next day the sport of skateboarding fell right on its face. Life for Tony has had its ups and downs, and what brought him back up was his attitude and the way he believed in himself.

One dimension of Tony that completely impressed me is the way he accepts himself. His goal is never to do better than others, but to do his best. If he does the best he can, it doesn't matter how anyone else ranks him. That can apply to more than just skateboarding; everyone can learn from it. When I play baseball and things aren't going so well, but I'm trying my hardest, then that's life. It's how you approach those bad days that will keep you on top.

Confidence brought Tony to the next level of skateboarding. During our meeting he continually stressed the importance of following your dream. He also said, along with that, one needs to have a strong faith in one's own ability to achieve that dream, no matter what obstacles or challenges are presented.

One of the most tragic events in Tony's life was the loss of his father. Despite his pain he never lost sight of his dream. He channeled his energy toward his dream, which helped him overcome his grief. Having a goal saved him from hitting rock bottom.

The stories Tony told us revealed the person he is. By the end, I didn't see the same guy who had walked through the door an hour earlier. Now I view him as more than a world-class skateboarder. He is an exceptional individual who has dealt with many of the same problems we all face. He's a normal person, but the difference is, he was always able to rise above his problems by having faith in his dream.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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megima said...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm:
when did you happen to write this artile
 
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