A Legacy of RAD | Megs Gelfgot | TEDxCincinnatiWomen

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Learning to skateboard as a mom in the suburbs, Megs shares her transformation from bored in adulthood to living a fierce life. From unorthodox hobbies to tragedy, her journey to founding the skate collective, Keep Her WILD and how you can create a legacy of Really Awesome Days no matter your starting point. Learn more: http://www.keepherwildhq.com Megs Gelfgot is the founder of Keep Her WILD a Cincinnati based skate collective empowering women through skateboarding and community. Megs is a fitness entrepreneur and trainer focused on making fitness accessible for everyone. You can find her surfing concrete, towing her ginger 5 year old around and chasing stoke in everyday life. http://www.keepherwildhq.com This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

[Music]
[Applause]
[Music]
guys I want you to think of something
that you’ve always wanted to do but
never actually went for it I teach women
to skateboard but my mission is to help
men and women create a legacy really
awesome days to live rad I found with a
skate collective keep her wild we got
any of those here
keep your wild we got a girl and we
empower women through skateboarding and
community I founded this in this
male-dominated sport because I wanted to
make learning more accessible for women
but what happened was the transformation
in my life and countless others in our
community now I didn’t grow up
skateboarding I was 29 before I ever
stepped on a board I was living the
suburbia success story there’s a new mom
and I loved my role but I lost some of
my identity along the way I felt kinda
bored and out of place
even a little tamed and if life was
lackluster I was the only one
responsible for my experiences don’t
like it go change something so I decided
to reach for the first regret I could
think of learning to skateboard now all
those excuses that held me back 20 years
ago those are amplified as an adult I’m
going to break everything but
skateboarding would be my bridge to
reconnect without wildness within myself
I lost along the way
tamed trying to fit in to a suburbia
using somebody else’s definition of
success
so my rebellion commenced in an empty
parking lot with a skateboard and
needless to say I was I was terrible I
fell and I laughed at myself and it was
awful but I felt alive
this skateboard helped me remember who I
was not fearless just courageous enough
to go for it to make my own way
you see when we’re kids and starting
something new we’re scared of getting
hurt as adults we’re scared of being
judged my judgement came in the form of
friends and family are you for real
right now can you just take up tennis
please can you do something else you’re
gonna hurt yourself girl I felt
empowered because it wasn’t conventional
I was a mom who escaped boarding around
your neighborhoods that’s what’s up and
I wasn’t gonna let my critics
marginalize my growing passion because
they didn’t understand it it took me
eight visits to a skate park before I
was brave enough to physically get out
of the car and really what was my worst
case scenario some kid named Spencer
heckles me for being a beginner I hurt
that child
I can handle a Spencer
and the day that I smacked my face open
at said skate park
I remember Oh Meg’s uh uh this was fun
we had a great run go to the library but
I knew that that fierce identity
I was uncovering within myself on my
screen I could see it you guys got it
like 30 seconds after I didn’t like what
happened yeah it was a rough day uh so I
told myself that this fierceness that I
was uncovering within myself was tied
directly to pushing through the struggle
and sometime there’s some pain and so
bravery was getting my board right then
complete with a heckling audience of
teenage boys well my face was still
bleeding going back on that ledge and
crushing it I dropped it on my first
bowl that day if you don’t know what
that is google it later it’s awesome
[Music]
[Applause]
skateboarding had me showing up better
in all areas of my life I had grit I had
capacity
but as I looked back at this life that
previously I had been bored with there
had been nothing wrong with my life it
was what I was willing to settle for
what fine looks like to me really wasn’t
fine so I did what everybody does start
an Instagram page what’s up and I
started documenting my journey of the
highs and the lows and how skateboarding
was helping me be brave in other areas
of my life a weird thing happened this
crazy Amazon ginger from the suburbs my
story resonated with people all over the
world and I started getting messages
with the same story people who always
wanted escape but never took that first
initiative never got over the fear never
bought a board and so slowly as we
encourage each other this makeshift
community grew and I began to believe in
the larger vision of using skateboarding
to empower now fear told me I was not
equipped to lead this I am NOT a master
of skateboarding do you not remember
this gave heart story right I was still
learning and around this time I was
diagnosed with our condition and
underwent emergency surgery and shortly
after my oldest sister Susana she died
in a car accident leaving a
four-year-old daughter behind and a
family just have a stated by her loss
everything changed in a blink
we don’t have tomorrow we have now what
are you doing now and so I had a renewed
urgency
I wouldn’t let fear make me passive
because I wasn’t the likely candidate
for the job I didn’t intend to start a
movement
but I’d be willing to see where it went
and when I started keeper wild in
Cincinnati I expected one to two women
to sign up for our meetup group online
50 women signed up in the first two days
with an average age of 35 yeah the
various of broken women I previously
felt out of place with are like I’m here
to chase some badass is that what we’re
doing today I’m here for that sign me up
for that skateboarding was not a phase
it was a lifeline what starts on a
skateboard with a little bit of bravery
and vulnerability was taking us places
we never could imagine now keeper wild
has communities in seven countries with
retreats designed together Minh zone
even our hashtag keep her wild has moved
so far cascading it is a marker of
courage and taking ownership and
creating really awesome days stories
like skateboarding despite having MS
losing a hundred pounds and climbing a
mountain going back to school at 65
because you want to see what you can do
this was all possible because we no
longer accepted a life that was fine we
demanded remarkable and our fierce
nature had an opportunity to show up now
women of all ages chased their fierce
with us
skateboarding was the spark to set my
life on fire and it was catching within
our community for me what started in
that empty parking lot and with a bloody
face in a skate park and facing down
critics in my life
it helped me believe in a larger vision
for myself it took me to places like
starting a podcast filming a document
writing a book because if I could learn
to kickflip you better believe I can
handle a couple of editors telling me
know what I don’t get bloody I can
handle this I’ll go knock on another
door thank you all right my friends what
is your skateboard alright so that might
be one of mine I don’t know I’ll look
into it after so what’s your skateboard
alright what have you always wanted to
try but you’re like but that’s not for
me I’ll do it tomorrow you know what
that’s silly
that’s not important and you know what
you’re probably too old you’re not fit
enough what would your friends think so
we either one keep it tucked away a
legacy of regret allowing life to manage
you or two what if you are good enough
what if you are creative enough what if
you could tune out the self-doubt that
paralyzes what if you couldn’t become
immune to the fear of someone laughing
at you and have the audacity to just go
for it and live like this thing is going
to end what then
you might just find a life transforms
and a community to call home your
skateboard is out there but it’s up to
you to find it and to go for it
so be brave stay wild and live rad thank
you
[Applause]

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