When I first heard of about the 365 skate day challenge I was immediately torn on the concept. On one hand, you become dedicated to skating and it really pushes you to get out your comfort zone. On the other, it seems like a dangerous path to exhausting yourself both physically and mentally.
So I quickly decided that the 365 Day Skate Challenge was not for me. I wanted to track my progress and the days that I skate but I didn't want to force myself to skate when I didn't want to. Although I hadn't skated in years, I've been working out for a few years and the thought of working my body everyday just didn't feel realistic. I knew there would be days where I didn't want to skate, and I don't want to force myself to do something that just didn't feel right. I was scared that skating would feel like a chore if I made myself skate no matter what. Plot twist, you'll feel that way on some days even if you've taken plenty of days off.
Life is unpredictable, so making the commitment to skate every single day for a year can be very unrealistic. We have no idea what exactly will be happening to us in the next 365 days, and you could face some huge challenges, you could get sick, or you could get hurt. The last thing you may need to worry about while going through hard times is skating that day. And many of us can be extremely hard on ourselves, you may feel like a failure if you made it to day 106 but had to skip one day. Did you really have to skip that day? Do you now start over?
In all honesty... I regret my decision. I hate to say it, but I think I let myself down a lot of days that I could've skated but I just didn't want to, so I didn't. I think taking days off are good, but at the same time sometimes you have to push yourself a little bit extra. The days that feel the hardest, the ones that can seem impossible, those can be the most rewarding days. They also can be the most disheartening, but it's important to feel that way sometimes.
Now I look at other skaters who started at the same time I did, but have clearly put in more time. Since I started skating, I've taken roughly 2 months of total days off. That's a lot of wasted time... and that sucks. I try not to compare myself to other skaters, I just know I would be in a very different spot if I drilled for a few minutes instead of taking the whole day off.
So do you really have to skate every single day for year?
I'm sure a lot of people will say yes to this question, but I honestly don't think so. The great thing about life is you get to make your own rules, even to your own "365 Skate Day" challenge. What's important to yourself is to listen to yourself and know your limits, but also push yourself at the same time. Maybe you could let yourself take Sundays off. Put your skates on for a few minutes on the really hard days, and just sit on the couch. On the days that you take off watch a skate documentary or watch some tutorials.
At the end of the day, it's up to you to make your own decision on how you want to approach the 365 Days Of Skate Challenge. But really put into thought of what your plan is, and most importantly remember to be kind and gracious to yourself.