Girl on Wheels

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

“If I were you, I’d take the white ones. They’d look nice with your purple trucks.”

Chris, the sales assistant at the skate shop, was helping me choose some wheels for my new skateboard. As he set to work assembling it, I plopped down next to my cousin Tiara on a nearby beanbag.

“If I were you, I’d be so afraid,” she said.

“Of what?” I asked.

She gave me a look as if I already knew. And I did. The moment I got home, I would be in for a shouting match with my notoriously strict mother. I knew I wasn’t allowed to ride a skateboard, let alone buy one.

“What’s with your mom and skateboards anyway?” asked Tiara.

“Well, she doesn’t want her ‘little girl’ to be in such a dangerous sport and, God forbid, break a bone.”

I understood where my mom was coming from, since skateboarding is definitely one of the most dangerous sports out there. Yet ever since I was younger, I’d been drawn to those riskier sports. Whether it was football, hockey, or snowboarding, I yearned to join them all at some point. My mother’s answer was always the same: “No, too dangerous.” Years later I couldn’t help but wonder how good I could have been at athletics of just that sort, until one day I decided it was time to stop wondering and turn my thoughts into a...

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