Stoked to start off this new program of laying out the mind of the Editor-in-Chief of Gnarkansas, me. I've been so pumped to see the site back on its feet and exploring more of Arkansas than ever before. I can tell you from my experience in this venture that, on paper, this is no easy task, however it's easy in other ways. One thing that we feel most confident in is: We are just being ourselves and showing the fruits of the lens.
Being yourself is not hard if you let it be. Too many times are we pressured to appear in a certain image of what you want people to see you as. But if you just be yourself and put that out to the world, its more likely that you will come across others who are even more aligned with your thoughts and pleasures. One thing we established early on: there is so many people doing gnarly stuff in Arkansas. Once we opened our doors to more than skate, we have seen a comfortable and organic growth that we don't plan on stopping.
That doesn't mean skate goes to the wayside. Arkansas Crown has been rolling and I am happy to be working with the Northwest Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation in the idea and they are doing well in this plight to ultimately get more skate parks built in Arkansas, obviously starting with NW Arkansas. Little Rock is up next, we hope that Central Arkansas is down to push the cause with us as they have been on the forefront of progression with skate park success. A lot of work to be done but it is headed in the right direction. More DIY concrete going down such as Sidani's backyard pool and the Dump n' Grind face lift shows promise for activity for fall skating in Arkansas, which happens to be the best season for us.
The most exciting thing from last month had to have been Go Skate Day in Eureka. It was so tight to get the feels of old camraderie of Arkansas skaters that I haven't seen in a while. Skating and swimming with the homies was what I had been missing and bringing Gnarkansas back was key to creating the experience. But in retrospect that's why we started Gnarkansas, to be a vehicle of our enthusiasm for getting rad with the people around us. Now, I will explain why the edit from that day is not out yet...
SO, onto my worst time of the month. I wrecked hard on my bike working on a jump at Mount Fitzgerald in Springdale. My plan was to get a couple of jumps in before packing my bike up for a trip to Aspen for work which would be followed by a skate park and bike park tour in the rocky mountains. To be clear, I went over there just to throw down some sends on Barking Iron jump line a couple times and then head back to finish up work and pack up. Well, it was hot, humid and I was instantly exhausted. All I wanted was to connect the drop and two jumps with possibly throwing a little trick on the second jump. 4 successful lands made me think I was right there.
Next thing I know, I'm upside down in the air. I remember, before dropping in, thinking that I was sweating way too much and that I needed to get to a cooldown state. NOTE TO EVERYONE: If you say to yourself "Alright, one more" just stop and head out. Its time otherwise you wouldn't have said that to yourself. So I landed on my head and shoulder, sliding down the landing and I knocked the breathe out of me. Laying there, alone. I almost lost it. Luckily about 5 minutes a couple spotted my bike while making a loop on the green trail on the way out.
I ended up going to the hospital for 7 x-rays and a CT scan and surprising to me, given a clean bill of health. I couldn't believe it. However, I did not feel like i was well. I was still forced to drive to Aspen as planned but now with a disabled-feeling body and I don't wish it to anyone. I felt as stiff as a board and I did not do well handling it. It put me down hard. I feel like I am coming around now but I now will give more appreciation to what my body is telling me. For anyone that wants to follow my mountain bike adventures, you can do so on instagram, @brandonherbert.mtb.
Bike is out of commission and I saving up money to get it fixed to ride again. i am able to roll around on my board so I will do some light skating this week and hopefully I feel good enough to get back to the rad. For now, I will be taking time on the next steps for Gnarkansas, which we hope is apparel but we need you in the community to let us know that you are willing to support the investment. We operate on a "less than shoestring" budget so we can't afford much, let alone something you may not want. We are happy to continue to showcase the rad activity we witness in Arkansas as long as we can continue to do so. Thanks to all who stick around, checking out content and supporting the vision. Talk to you next month.