Saturday, March 24, 2018

Katrina turns 10 For a funny blooper, make sure to click that link to a five second clip of Katrina's precious smile!

God Bless and so much love,



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#WritersRecap: Tampa Pro 2018 was drippin' in finnesse

For some people, they feel at peace in a church. For other people, they feel at peace in a hot tub. Me? I am one of those weird people that feels most at peace at a skatepark.

My love of skateboarding began in 2005. Most of you all know that story or remnants of it so I won't share it again for fear of repeating myself. #LongStoryShort: Skateboarding is music to my ears, and it's the muse to my artistry as a writer. For as long as I've been a writer, skateboarding has always appealed to that part of me, the creative part that society labels as outlandish, peculiar, an outsider of sorts.

Yet when I am at a skatepark I meet other people just like me: skateboarders.

They skate to their own rhythm and aren't afraid to break the rules. They even defy gravity in the meantime. Yet, this was no ordinary weekend at the skatepark. This is Tampa Pro weekend. The biggest pro contest for the east coast that is what the X-Games used to be for Los Angeles (This year, they debut in Minneapolis so that should be rad. I am just equally stoked for skateboarding to finally be in the Olympics in 2020.)

So my friend and I got our Weekend Passes and headed out to one of my favorite local skateparks: the Skatepark of Tampa or SPOT.

We arrived drippin' in finesse and ready to obsess over all the ollies, heel flips, and board slides.

And yes, I have purple hair!
Right away, my friend and I got our wristbands and we were so totally stoked, man.

 Then, my friend realized she really had to pee.

So naturally because I haven't been to Tampa Pro or SPOT since 2013 I only remembered the outside bathrooms so I pointed them out to my friend and she shut the door just as a skateboarder was heading to go in himself.

I was looking down at my phone out of habit when I hear a male voice ask me, "Hey are you in line?" I look up to realize the person who asked me is none other than pro skateboarder and past Tampa Pro winner, Luan Olivera.

Figuring the line for the bathroom wasn't the right lighting for a selfie, I just said, "No," and left him alone.

In my head, I was totally tripping the freak out!

Then, we went to watch the open practice. I spotted many of my faves and some new dudes I never saw before. Yet, this one guy looked like a young Kane Sheckler to me and I felt this sense that he was going to win by the end of the weekend.

My friend and I watched the dudes practice for 45 minutes before we headed out. We decided to walk through the shop so my friend could look around. As we were looking around, I happened to look toward the door, as a rather tall older dude was walking in wearing a hoodie and dark jeans. 

I gasped as we made eye contact.

The dude who just walked in to SPOT was none other than Chris Cole.

Someone I never saw in person yet in the near 13 years I've been an avid supporter of the sport and those who participate in it.

Then, he walked nonchalantly carrying his board in hand.

And this was only day one out of three.

Day 2 was equally as rad except my friend and I didn't stay for the entire qualifiers so I didn't get to get a selfie with Leticia Bufoni. Yet, it was no surprise that Manny Santiago got Top 2 alongside Yuto because he was on fire for both of his runs. We came back later for the night life portion of the day and it was totally cool to see how the skatepark looked at night.

Day 2 included me making a joke that I found Ryan Sheckler there but really it was just his signed deck in the Boards For Bros display. 

The finals started on Sunday right on time. Yet, we arrived late. Thankfully, after a little while of watching it on the big screen in the back area near the pool, we found seating right outside the warehouse in the area that used to be the picnic table area (at old school Tampa Pros 06-13 prior to it becoming part of the Street League Skateboarding program). 

Here we are sipping our After Sesh Lager and watching the finals. Yet, I got a little bummed that I barely saw any of the skaters just hanging out on the courtyard. I mean, did you even really go to Tampa Pro if you didn't get a pic with a pro skater?

Next thing I knew Jagger Eaton put down a sick run straight out of the gate, and by the time all other 11 dudes went, he was the champ on top. He was officially declared the winner.

So naturally, I happened to see him and asked him for a picture and told him "Congratulations!"
Dang, the young Kane Sheckler walked out of Tampa, FL $75,000 richer. And what's even cooler is like a Sheckler, he's not even 18 and already smashing records. (He's just a Sheckler look-a-like but still).

After I took a picture with the champ Jagger, I turned around to see one of the dopest dudes in skateboarding coming down off the ramp. And I wanted to cop one of his custom made Grizzly shirts but by the time I tried to get one they were already gone.

Yes, I am referring to Mr. life of the party, Torey Pudwill.

No selfie with TPuds? Tampa Pro didn't happen.

Of course, my family gave me a small list of who they hoped I would get a photo of or with:

I didn't get to meet my sister's crush Curren Capples but I did get a photo with a young Japanese Chris Cole, my mom's favorite: Yuto Hurogome.

I did miss seeing the OGs like P-Rod, Sheckler, and Chaz Ortiz but Tampa Pro weekend was officially a success. And I left happier than my dogs whenever I ask them if they want to go on a walk.

Until next year, Tampa Pro. It was a real freaking pleasure! And who knows maybe next year, my book Kickflip My Heart will be out and I can promote it while I'm there. A writer can only dream, right? :D

As I was sitting down to write this post, I happened to fall down one of those rabbit holes on Instagram where it keeps taking you to look at content similar to other photos you've liked and I happened to see a familiar face of a snapshot featuring Nyjah Houston. Wouldn't be the first time I was caught in the background as a true fangirl of skateboarding. Naturally, I am smiling from ear to ear and look at peace. 

As you can see, skateboarding will always Kickflip My Heart every single time.