Money for the Honey
So I got invited to the friggen x-games!!! Which is actually amazing! A lot of people don't know this about me, but xgames has been my dream for years now.
I broke my leg a couple years ago in Adelaide, and during my recovery I had a whole lot of time to lay around with my leg perched up, so I spent most of that time watching xgames videos on YouTube.
I remember thinking I want to be there, I want to skate that event, I want to get that good! And I guess it's always kind of stayed with me since then!
Shanae smithing. Pic - Transtion Photograhy
2016 / 2017 has been a really crazy and amazing time for me. I guess, you could say I started taking my skateboarding seriously, and working harder to progress and also to compete at a professional level. So earlier in the year I competed in the bowl riding comps, most of them are in Sydney, and I also got invited to skate Bondi bowl a Rama, which was sooo amazing. What a crazy time. Aside from bowl a rama I managed to take out podium spots in each contest. Which was my goal, and leading up into the contests I was working super hard on my skateboarding and other aspects of my life that can enhance that like my general fitness and also my diet etc.
I thought, well hey, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna give it the biggest shot I can.
The man who make it all happen Shoota - Pic Transition Photography
So I basically had to take over a month off work, and that fully drained my entire bank account. Then by the time I got home from all these contests not only was my body wrecked, but I had no money and basically had to start from scratch again. I don't make money from skateboarding and I had to fund my entire trip, along with many other people.
That's just how it is. And that's okay! But it's not easy financially!
Anyway, I got the email to invite me to xgames, and I couldn't actually believe it. I lost my mind. Like. NO. FUCKIN. WAY.
I woke up one morning to this super official email and when I read the invitation I swear my entire face smiled. I started laughing. I called my mum and tried to explain but I was just freaking out which made her freak out haha! It was pretty funny thinking about it now. But xgames is crazy, before skateboarding was announced as an Olympic sport, this was it! It still is in my eyes the biggest contest. Only A tight selection of the best professional skateboarders worldwide get invited to this contest, and I got an invite, it's actually nuts.
But I only have a bit over a month to organise this whole trip, and I have to go, there's no way I'm not going. But there's so much I need to consider... flights / insurance / rent / travel expenses / accomodation etc... on top of all these things, you have to have kind of gnarly insurance for these contests and it costs so much money, but if you don't get it, they wont let you compete.
So I kind of came up with a tight budget for myself to be able to afford it, literally planned each day and an acceptable amount of money I could spend, and even then, willing to live on soup for over a month and work, sleep, skate, repeat, I still wouldn't have been able to afford all that goes into these trips.
On top of trying to skate and train and be ready. And work a full time job. I felt really stressed. I'm naturally an anxious person, so getting these emails with all this paperwork I need to fill out and insurance I have to find, stressing about money, stressing that I'm working too much and my body's getting run down, stressing that I need to work that much to afford it, pretty much just stressing about stressing in general. It was kind of gnarly.
I hit up my sponsors and they for sure helped out a bit, not so much with money, but ideas on how I can hustle up some, which really helped. Hence where the go fund me came from, I think Steve Mcinnes actually suggested it.
And the go fund me made THE BIGGEST difference, that pretty much paid for my flights and travel insurance. Thanks so much to everyone that donated to that hey! I really appreciate it!
I still needed more because basically, if I qualify for the finals, I have to stay in America for a month extra because I won't be able to afford to fly back to Australia for 3 weeks and then over to Minneapolis for the finals. I'm totally going to try to hustle a job for a few weeks somewhere, I work as a barista here in Melbourne and there's coffee everywhere so maybe that could work haha who knows.
I still had a couple weeks to go and that's when I got this phone call from shoota one morning.... etc.
Words: Shanae Collin @yeahsheezy
Pics: Transition Photography @transitionphotography