Scrolling through Nick Tucker’s Instagram page, one dominant theme stands out: movement. The professional skateboarder, sponsored by brands like Diamond Supply Co. and Nixon Watches, is constantly active. Whether it be perfecting old tricks, trying new jumps, or just moving beyond four walls, Nick is always doing something in pursuit of his craft.
So what happens when that’s all taken away? How do professional athletes that rely on public and collaborative spaces keep fit – or hardest of all, motivated – when a public health crisis forces the closure of those they frequent?
In this week’s edition of the L.A. Weekly podcast, host and L.A. Weekly publisher Brian Calle speaks with the pro-boarder on how he stays active, as well as the path he took to become the celebrated skateboarder he is today.
It’s hard for professional athletes to not be able to train, let alone work, for the indefinite period of time that is California’s shelter in place order. Without constant upkeep, one starts to lose muscle mass. A process that happens much faster than you’d think.
“You’ve gotta continue that upkeep,” Nick tells Brian. “If you don’t move it you lose it.”
Thankfully, he’s been able to get out every so often in order to keep up with his skills. “I’ve been trying to be responsible, but the show must go on,” admits Nick.
So what are Nick Tucker’s top tips for staying in skating shape while in lockdown?
- Get good sleep. “Sleep is very important,” wisens Nick.
- Get some exercise, any exercise. “Do something to keep your body and blood flowing,” he says.
- Eat right, as much as possible. “It’s very easy to sit on the coach, watching Netflix and baking cookies,” admits Nick. You have to call upon your willpower to stop the habit, as once you fall into it, it’s pretty hard to make it over that slump.
- Be mindful of your current situation. If you can’t go out, you can’t go out. Take stock of what is available to you, whether it be leg lifts with your coach or simple wall squats.
- Build on ways to better yourself. While there is no argument that staying safe at home has been anything other than hard, it’s up to you to make the most of any situation. If you have extra time alone, at home, use it to build on ways you can better yourself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
“It’s important to focus on your happiness,” says Nick. Listening to him share his story of success, it’s clear that the man has a unique gift to find happiness in any situation.
A tradition on the L.A. Weekly podcast is to ask each guest about the journey that got them to where they are today in their professional life. Not only looking for positive remembrances, Brian searches for the knowledge that can be shared from the moments each guest thought they may not actually make it to their goals, before ultimately succeeding.
To tell the truth, Nick tells Brian, he’s had moments of gratitude every step of the way.
“After staying on multiple couches, eating top ramen every night, selling old shirts just to have money to eat… . Going from that to having a blow-up bed, then being able to pay rent because I got a couple sponsors, to having my own room to getting my own apartment … fast forward to now, having a house and 40+ graphics, traveling the world, having life experiences. I’ve been able to do so much through skating,” explains Nick. Every moment felt like the big one. Back when he had no place to call his own, somewhere safe to lay his head at night was an achievement worthy of his gratitude. It was the thankfulness for the small successes that made the bigger ones all that much greater.
To learn more about skating through COVID-19 and taking pleasure in all your achievements – big and small – tune into this week’s episode of the L.A. Weekly podcast with Brian Calle and Nick Tucker.