It all started with the kick-flip: a staple trick that mesmerized a restless kid from Barre, Vermont. Jordan Maxham, (then aged 10, now 27), was just a simple witness; but immediately, he was hooked and never looked back. Forget what he knew or didn’t know, skateboarding was about to teach Maxham the pursuit of passion, what it means to overcome the impossible and how family can come from a tribe of athletes ready to grind.
While the story ends with a clear shot of happiness, it didn’t start-off that way. “Life before I skated was just all over the place. I was a wild little kid,” begins Maxham. “I didn’t feel at place anywhere; anywhere at home.” For the son of a single Mom, growing up in the sleepy, New England small town proved challenging. Sound direction for life’s toughest questions and a confidence in who he wanted to be, didn’t come easily.
Until, there was skateboarding.
With the completion of a local skatepark, young Jordan found himself introduced to a new way of finding community and facing obstacles. “This was the first thing that I decided to do for myself- I [wanted] to do this, because I [wanted] to do this,” says Maxham.
With a break from business as usual, Maxham-for the first time- found himself feeding a passion he truly loved: not for the approval of others, but for the pure pursuit of hisown stoke.This became new ground for self-discovery, along with an immediate right to family.
“That [skatepark] was like my first family,” shares Maxham. “My Dad was never really there. He was just out of the picture. So, going to the skatepark … they literally raised me. The skatepark turned into my family.”
As passion became his daily pursuit, he soon received an unexpected chance that would change his life forever. On the brink of Maxham almost falling prey to the Vermont correctional system, Silent Skateboards would offer him an opportunity that he couldn’t refuse: live,rent-free, in sunny Los Angeles: all he had to do was skate.
“That was my ticket,” recalls Maxham. And instantly, it was.
Skateboarding not only afforded him the freedom to pursue his passions, it also manifested the provision of family he was once without. Dreams that he never thought possible of achieving, became possible. Instead of giving-in to the struggles of an all-too familiar street-culture, skateboard Diverted his focus towards the positive; providing a collection of lessons in overcoming adversity and chasing his dreams.
“Everything in my life- all of the lessons and values I’ve had- have come from skateboarding. There are very few things that I have learned thatdon’t come from skating.”
And with that, Jordan Maxham embodies what it means to achieve your impossible. We salute his tenacity to overcome; his ability to see his dream realized, and the example he’s set for any of us, and all of us, to do the exact same.
Want more DIVERTED? Check out the complete video on Maxham’s journey to Achieving His I'mpossible. Submit your own DIVERTED story here, email@example.com.
Sean co-founded the non-profit, “A Walk on Water”, which specializes in Ocean and Surf Therapy for people needing the healing powers of the ocean. A Walk on Water was founded in 2012 by four men who shared the belief that the ocean’s healing powers could help people. They all had a passion for Surf Therapy and giving back, so they wanted to make it accessible to children who needed it in the USA.