This Kid's Two-Year Quest to Land One Damn Trick Is Profound, Inspiring

Have you ever failed something 2,000 times in a row?

By The Editors

 
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19 July 2016

You've probably never heard of Christian Flores. In all honesty, you'll probably never again hear of Christian Flores.

He's a professional skateboarder but not the kind you'll ever see on TV or a billboard. He reviews skate shoes and art for a website called RIDE. He has 1,700 Instagram followers.

But the 24-year-old is the subject of a story worth telling regardless.

Two years ago, Flores decided he wanted to land a laser flip over a triple set of stairs in the back of a nondescript commercial building, presumably somewhere in South California. The trick is a difficult but by no means groundbreaking one, at least among the pros.

To Flores, though, it quickly became a white whale. "I'm not really the most consistent skateboarder," he admits in the video. "I don't land stuff every try ... at all. Matter of fact, I fall most of the time."

He estimates that he returned to the stairs once a month for two years, recording around 100 failed attempts each time, not stopping until his board broke or he "physically [couldn't]" continue — the latter condition one that, as evidenced by the video, Flores has a much higher threshold for than your average bear.

In all, he endeavored to land the trick some 2,000 times. Approximately 1,999 of those times, he failed: always painfully, oftentimes spectacularly. Watching Flores twist and contort his body out of harm's way, feline-like, is almost a tutorial on failure. (Not that it doesn't look like it really f***ing hurts. Smacking your body against a slab of pavement 2,00 times definitely really f***ing hurts, no matter the skill involved.)

The end of the story is less a happy one than a kind of supremely cathartic one, whose satisfaction is derived entirely from the fact that it follows a series of unmitigated failures.

"I don't think it matters how much you try something," Flores says, reflecting on the project. "I think It only matters how hard you went for it. Even if you didn't do it but you still tried your heart out, that's still amazing — that you had the determination to try it."

What's your excuse?

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