King of Cleveland
Funny how life circles back around. Even funnier is how I can continue to find connections between yoga and skating.
It’s been over 20 years since I was first exposed to agressive” or “street” skating. Through my association with the Inline Certification Program, skate companies such as Rollerblade and Salomon, as well as the people people that worked in the industry, I once had a bird’s eye view of this segment of the sport. In the late 90’s early 2000’s I attended X-Games, Gravity Games and other contest featuring the who’s who of street and vert skating in the world.
Fast forward to this past weekend when I had the opportunity to attend a snapshot of that same scene with the guys from BladeCle at their 6th annual King of Cleveland event. Over 25 skaters competed in the day long event for over $3000 in prize money!
I originally met a few of the BladeCle guys last year when I was representing Rollerblade for the 10k Challenge at the annual Park n’ Roll Skating & Cookie event in Monroe Falls, OH. While there was an intention to make a connection after the event it never happened.
This is where the yoga comes in. One of the main organizers is a student of mine this semester at Cleveland State University in one of the many yoga and meditation classes that I teach for the university.
We made the connection after the first yoga class that we met the previous year and he invited me to this weekend's event.
It was a "blast from the past" experience but mostly just a blast!
The event began at the Crooked River Skatepark on the West Bank of the Flats in Cleveland. From there we went to 4 separate locations where the contests showcased their best moves for the 75 friends, family and on lookers who came out for the event. The audience is given full ability to judge the winners in this “very democratic” contest.
I had so much fun meeting the orgainzers, contestents, etc. and name dropping the names of all those that inspired this generation to skate in the first place! Having been around “back in the day” gave me the connection to the experience and allowed me to see how much influence that time period had on the sport and still does today.
The events culminated at a local bar/resaurant, "XYZ Tavern" in Cleveland's trendy Gordon Square neighborhood where the winners were announced. As mentioned, those in attendance were part of the voting process making this contest quite democratic in nature which allows for less issues as everyone has a voice.
Knowing the difficulty in organizing events like this as well as knowing how the laid back nature of the kind of skaters who participate, I was very impressed with the organization of the event as well as how much support the skaters gave to one another throughout. While I am sure my student who helped organize is probably happy the event is over and ready for a nice long yoga nidra (see how I got back to yoga?!) I am already looking forward to the 7th Annual King of Cleveland event with BladeCle in September of 2020.