Gasbag: Amateur Skaters and 3-D Dolphins

Amateur Skaters and 3-D Dolphins

“I just wanna have fun, and travel, and live my lifestyle. And if this is offering me a way to do it, I’m gonna do it, you know?” That’s how Joel Meinholz responded when I asked him if his ultimate goal in life is to be a pro skater.

When you first read that quote you may think Joel is some simple-minded hick kid from Swamptown, Florida, whose only goal in life is to one day own a Chevelle, and that he’s just winging it. But what he said is kind of like one of those crazy 3-D posters¿the kind that if you stare at long enough with your eyes crossed, you eventually see 3-D dolphins. If you really think about Joel’s statement, you’ll see the hidden genius in it. He’s enjoying his life right now, which is something most people have little concept of. We are taught to sacrifice our youth to school and work, so that when we’re 65 and our bodies have failed us, we can drive a new Cadillac. Which leaves us to wonder, how many people really enjoy their lives?

Joel isn’t the only amateur in this issue answering questions with camouflaged profoundness. His statement has become the unintentional theme for The Amateur Issue, which now in its second year is becoming an annual theme issue for TransWorld. It’s our chance to give our readers a look at some of the promising young skaters who will be the superstars of some future decade.

In a world ruled by money, it’s rare to find any one person (let alone an entire category of people) who engages in a potentially dangerous activity for the sheer love of it. What makes The Amateur Issue fun to work on are the perspectives of skaters who haven’t been tainted by the money, the industry, and the pressure of performing yet. They’re eating Top Ramen, working terrible food-service jobs, and selling the product their sponsors give them for rent money with no real promise of ever making a name for themselves in skateboarding. It’s almost like attending four years of college, all the while not knowing if you’ll receive a degree.

Which leads us to the deeper meaning in Joel’s simple statement about enjoying his life: skating, like life, is more about the journey than the destination. Whether or not Joel Meinholz believes that is immaterial; the fact is, he’s living proof that enjoying the ride is often more important than getting where you’re going.¿the other Joel