It reminded me about the importance of finding that fine balance between pushing a kid too hard and not hard enough.
It also made me remember how difficult it can be to find time to do the things we love to do when we are doing so much for those we love.
The Motivation follows the final eight competitors in the weeks leading up to the 2012 championship as they vie for the title of best skateboarder in the world, endorsements and a prize of $200,000. It also focuses on league founder, Rob Dyrdek.
As the championship grows closer, the documentary digs deeper into the personal lives of the skateboarders and their families. These personal stories make the documentary most interesting.
Each skateboarder is highly impacted by his family. For instance:
- Luan Oliveira was raised by his grandparents in a poverty stricken area of Brazil.
- Nyjah Huston was raised by a controlling father who kept his son away from friends and activities, pushing him at an early age and ultimately causing their relationship to deteriorate to non-existence.
- Ryan Sheckler, whose father was a strong and constant supporter from the first moment his showed an interest in the sport.
Other competitors are already fathers themselves:
- Bastien Salabanzi, a Frenchman and father of one, feels inspired and rejuvenated by his family – he compares it to receiving an extra heart and lungs.
- Paul Rodriguez, recently separated from his child’s mother, is away from his child for the first time in seven years and searches for a new home for the two of them.
- Chris Cole juggles life as a skateboarder and a dad and struggles to find time to practice his tricks in the midst of fatherly duties.
Many fathers will identify with Cole. He’s a man stuck between two competing places in his life. He’s older than a lot of the other competitors and is beginning to feel the wear and tear that skateboarding has had on his body. Getting up at 6 a.m. to care for his kids leaves little time and energy for skateboarding, and he can go a week without practicing, which is something you can’t do in competitive skateboarding. As I watched the championship unfold, I sat on the edge of my seat pulling for him.
The documentary is an interesting look into a world that I know nothing about (my interest in skateboarding lasted about a year when I was kid). I’ve watched skateboarding competitions in the past with my kids, but in watching the film, I gained a new appreciation for the skateboarding business and those that compete.
There’s a handful of swearing in the film and at one point a competitor reveals bruises on his butt, exposing his entire rear, but I think most kids would be fine watching the film. In fact, I would encourage parents to watch the film with their children. It could spark some interesting conversations about kids and competitive sports.
And there are some cool tricks, too.
You can download The Motivation on iTunes.