A quote by novelist and author of “Divergent” Veronica Roth reads, “I have to face the fear. I have to take control of the situation and find a way to make it less frightening.”
For Micah Maddox, the son of a traveling nurse who moves every three months, skateboarding may just be the way to overcome his fears, and his father’s, too. Micah’s dad, Aaron Maddox, explained while at North Domingo Baca Skatepark during a Sunday skate session: “I think it’s good for him to overcome fear. And that’s what a lot of skating is. Literally, every next step they learn is overcoming some new fear.”
While watching his son, Aaron continued, “And they’re going to get hurt. There’s just no way to avoid it. So, it’s overcoming fear for me as a dad, too. It’s just character building for all of us.”
Although Micah didn’t fall during the skate session, Aaron knowns the reality, adding, “He falls, he hurts, he bleeds. He gets back up. We’re just out here for all the positive good vibes that come from skating.”
Jeremy Ladner, an employee at Haven Skate Shop who was giving lessons to Micah, brings the good vibes to the skatepark but recognized not everyone is on the same page. Ladner said some people will break glass near the ramps or vandalize property. He said he brings attention to the problems, but he is not always heard. Thomas Gallagher, supervisor at the nearby multigenerational center, said in a previous interview that he knows who the troublemakers are at North Domingo, or the New Park, as some skaters call it, but the issues persist. Despite the problems, the skate park is world-renowned.
In August 2021, Olympian skateboarder and Albuquerque local Mariah Duran was given a welcome home party at the park, where New Mexico United soccer star Devon Sandoval was spotted helping his daughter ride a skateboard.
Ladner, who hails from Pennsylvania, said it is important for New Mexicans to support the skate scene. “We have a female Olympic skateboarder from here,” he said. “Just that alone, I feel like the skate community deserves more attention.” On top of the problems with vandals, Ladner said North Domingo lacks proper lighting and that compared to places like Colorado, New Mexico’s skateparks have a way to go.
“Not that these parks are bad,” Ladner said, “but they’re not great. For what’s right in the state north of us, Colorado, their skate parks are like gold. These are not even in the top five. And we have an Olympian, not to mention a huge skate scene. The biggest skate scene I’ve ever lived amongst.”
Micah, who’s next stop is Seattle, easily cruised the ramps at North Domingo without much trouble. When asked if skateboarding was fun, he said, “Yeah,” adding that he’s learned “a lot of stuff” from Ladner, including kick turns, how to go up the bigger ramps and pumping.
As for overcoming fear, that didn’t seem to be much of an issue for Micah.