Happiness is a form of courage...The smell of cherry cigar fills the air. Drunks yelling out about someone being a fag. Bimbos dressed in barely any clothes saying they want to "get it in" with Ryan Sheckler. Skateboards thrashing against the complex as Mike Vallely finally lands his gnarly trick. No, this isn't a normal day in Tampa Fl.
This is Tampa Pro.
Tampa Pro is a professional skateboarding contest that is world-renowned and it takes place in my backyard at the Skatepark of Tampa in Downtown Tampa, FL.
The contest consists of a qualifying round where 30 guys make it into the semi-finals. The semi-finals consists of two or three heats of ten to fifteen skaters. Each skater does two runs. The top ten of the semi-finals compete in the finals against the top two qualifying skaters from the qualifying round.
This year, everyone decided to attend Tampa Pro, including Hollywood VIP and rapper Lil Wayne.
Usually I get there early enough that I can socialize with the skaters when they arrive but this year, no such luck so I didn't get any pictures with any of the skaters.
Here's some gnarly stills of the athletes during open skating before the semi-finals:
Chaz Ortiz who I met last year, was in the building, sporting a new tattoo. Guess most skaters get the tatted bug.
My old friend R. Shecks penning his signature. This guy goes all out for the fans, still. He even had some kids calling out to him by the stairs below the complex and he jumped about eight to ten feet down just to sign autographs for the kids. Good to see he still cares that much. :)
My skater crush Sean Malto even came this year! I was freaking out because I never seen him in person before. I was totally fan-girling every time he looked in my general direction. Too bad I didn't get a chance to meet him. I wouldn't have said anything but I would have grinned from ear to ear. :D Maybe next year!
I never realized how blessed I am to have met this guy. Today when those bimbos wanted a piece of him, all I could think was, "He's met my dog," and it made realize just how truly blessed I am. So many people just wish for a chance to see Ryan skate in person and because it just seems like my backyard to me, and normalness because I've known him for so long, I didn't realize I took it all for granted.
I took the reality of the fact that Ryan knows my family and I by face and by name. He even knows and has met my dog. Not many people can say that. But I can. :)
And I have God to thank for it!
Here's an interesting one of Nyjah Houston rolling by, and Shecks steezing in the corner♥
Chris "Cobra" Cole is in the building!
The Shecklebunny still has a few tricks up his sleeve. :)
Sheckler still definitely has talent but today, I noticed that he's not crazy anal about his skating anymore. He's more chill and laid back and if he doesn't get first, he doesn't badger himself anymore. Although, after Ryan's first run, I watched Ryan and he was scolding himself about missing one of his major tricks. It's funny how even after a year has gone by, I still can tell what Ryan's thinking by what he does and how his face looks.
Yes, I know that makes me sound like a stalker but with any performer, if you watch them consistently for long enough, you see all the little things they do and don't do and know exactly what they are about to do, what trick they have up their sleeve, etc. It would be the same if I watched football and followed Tim Tebow, or basketball and followed Kobe Bryant. For me, Ryan Sheckler is that athlete.
I guess Ryan Sheckler still is my favorite skater even though I don't really follow him as much anymore. :)
Look at that ass. ;-)
Sheckler didn't end up making it to the finals but the top 3 winners of Tampa Pro 2012 were:
3rd: Sean Malto
2nd: Chaz Ortiz
1st: Torey Pudwill
Overall, it was a great time had by all, and of course, I'll be there next year!
Before I leave you with a final thought, I must remind you that at midnight tonight Justin Bieber's new single, "Boyfriend" is officially released so please go out and get it! From the teasers I've heard, it's going to be swagged out!
Until next time, Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing your creative best with your own life. -Galatians 6:4-5, The Message♥
Love Times Infinity,
~Just Keep Swimming~