Hot Air: That One Thing

Many of us wish we had that one thing in our lives that made living worthwhile.

A vocation. A passion. A reason to wake up in the morning.

Some successful folks (really successful, in the I’m-reasonably-contented sense as opposed to phony successful as in I-own-a-lot-of-worthless-shit) usually find a way to fake it through life. Most of us find inspiration — or at least a reason not to swallow cyanide capsules — through our children and grandchildren. I know several people whose bodies are wracked with cancer yet still they hold on to life by their very fingernails because they couldn’t bear the idea of never seeing their progeny again.

Even those unlucky (or lucky) matriarchs and patriarchs must occasionally wonder how fabulous life would be had they discovered some intense devotion to…, what? Something. Some movement. Some idea.

Marie Curie had her radium. Joyce Carol Oates has her books. Greta Thunberg has her planet. Their lives were/are filled — sated, for chrissakes — by that one thing.

The thing that got them up in the morning.

Courtney Payne-Taylor has found her thing. It’s her skateboard. That one thing opened her life — her eyes — to a commitment to teach girls, young women, middle-aged women, and even old women how to keep their balance on the narrow, wheeled board. And how to pop back up when they inevitably fall. And how, in fact, to fall the right way.

The skateboard, Payne-Taylor has found, is the prefect metaphor for life itself.

The Bloomington GRO Crew (Payne-Taylor is in the red shirt).

So, she’s founded GRO (Girls Riders Organization). She actually spent years criss-crossing the country, solo, in her van, bringing skateboards to small towns and big ones, teaching girls and women — and, sure, boys and men, too — how to balance, how to fall, and how to balance again.

Payne-Taylor joins me on this week’s edition of Big Talk, today at 5:30pm, on WFHB, 91.3 FM.

She’s got plans, big plans, for Bloomington and the nation as she expands the reach and charge of GRO.

Join us to find out about her passion. And, if you miss it, come back here tomorrow for the link to the podcast of this week’s episode.

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