Teens were amazing

There's no shortage of talent - or charm - in local teenagers

Residing in Victoria, B.C. I have realized that you don’t have to drive far for a getaway and feel like you are miles away by visiting Parksville.

Highway #1 is a beautiful drive, through the towering trees along the Malahat as eagles fly overhead, passing lush farmlands and the serene ocean views.

After staying overnight in Parksville, the following day as I strolled along the ocean’s tide, I met some incredible teenagers.

One of the young men had a skateboard tucked underneath his arm and another pushing his BMX bike.

The one girl in the group noticed that I was looking at the BMX bike.  She told me how she loves watching them ride but wasn’t confident enough to ride herself yet.  Not yet but maybe … just maybe one day.

I spoke with them about their individual sports, Skateboarding and BMX riding.  They told me about both with in-depth descriptions, about the love and hazards of each sport. They spoke with such passion and excitement; it was hard not to feel the same.

I had always wanted to take photos of the riders in action at the Skatepark, but I never wanted to intrude on their time.  I was mistaken; all of them thought it would be great if I took some photos.

They continued to tell me what times were best to go down to the park and about this one BMX rider who was really amazing! But I didn’t catch his name at the time.

The next day I wandered down the beach with my camera bag slung over my shoulder to the Skatepark. I noticed that there was only one rider, I apprehensively approached him and asked if he would mind me taking some photos of him riding.

The young man put me at ease right away, extremely polite and said he wouldn’t mind at all. He jumped on his bike and began demonstrating extremely athletic BMX tricks.

After several minutes passed of me being in awe and experiencing jaw-dropping moments, a few other riders show up.  I lost count of how many times I held my breath watching them soar high into the sky and rail riding.

Before leaving the park, I stopped to thank the young man and his friends for letting me take the photos.

I promised I would post the photos on Facebook for them. (In my head hoping they had turned out, since I had never taken BMX photos before).    The first rider I met at the park, ended up being Nathan Hines, he was the “amazing” rider the group of teenagers had spoken so highly about the previous day.

After watching such talented young men with the determination, passion and sheer athleticism at the Parksville Skatepark, I realized I didn’t have to go far to experience something extraordinary.

Madonna K. Petraroia