Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Profile in Courage at the Bellevue Skate Park

A skate camp held at Bellevue Skate Park was featured recently on the KOMO news feature, Eric's Little Heroes.  Watch the clip by clicking on the box below, or following this link:

There has been a wealth of research lately validating the importance of play in social and brain development of children and adults.  This video is a great example of how kids can get practice learning how to face a real challenge within a safe environment.  The star of the show is Mateo, who is learning how to 'drop-in' to the skateboard ramp (the equivalent of stepping off a cliff).  As he prepares, you can imagine the questions running through his head:

Has my training prepared me for this?
Do I trust my instructor?
Do I have faith in myself?
What will people think if I succeed?
What will people think if I fail?
How will I handle what other people think?
Where can I find the courage I need to take the first step?
What do I do after I take the first step?
How much of a risk am I taking?
Is the reward worth the risk?

We've all been in these situations before where we have to dig down and test ourselves.  The practice these kids get through play will serve them well in later life.  All this while having fun, making new friends and getting great exercise at the same time.

Thanks to Mateo for letting us all share in his victory. 

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