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Ryan Sheckler

When Success Takes Its Toll, The Tough Game Begins


In this episode

Welcome to the second part of In Search of Excellence episode featuring Ryan Sheckler, one of the greatest skateboarders of all time!

Ryan turned pro when he was only 13 and became the youngest gold medalist in X Games history. At 17, he was the star of his own MTV reality show, The Life of Ryan. And in 2008, he created the Sheckler Foundation, whose goal is to support and enrich the lives of children and injured action sports athletes.

Tune in to hear about his experience with the reality show, how success led him to a very dark place of alcohol addiction, how he fought hard for his recovery and found Jesus, and so much more!

00:47 The good and the bad of Ryan’s reality TV show

  • The first season was super fun
  • Didn’t think much about it or about anything else except himself
  • Stopped filming at season 3 because he was absolutely over it
  • His parents split up in the middle of the season
  • He was a vulnerable, confused, sad, and angry teenager
  • Went crazy on the streets, pushed the boundaries, and filmed

08:08 A crazy lifestyle and losing control

  • Years 17 to 21 were crazy
  • Bought a Ferrari at 18, constantly threw parties
  • Those days were a learning experience
  • Turned into a character that people wanted him to be
  • Used alcohol to quiet the noise
  • Believes that God had a plan for him

12:40 The drinking addiction and recovery

  • Started drinking around 17
  • Alcohol was at him to kill him
  • He thought he had a good tolerance to alcohol
  • Started partying and drinking every night, then during the day
  • He was confused about who he was
  • Thankfully, no social media back then

22:10 The relapse in Norway

  • Ryan was 25 and preparing for X Games in Oslo
  • Just ended a toxic relationship
  • Had a bunch of drinks and got on the plane
  • Prayed to God to make him fall
  • Flew home the next morning
  • Lasted for 4 years and then relapsed
  • Though he could be a normal drinker, but he could never be

31:21 Clay Thompson and Michael Phelps

  • Clay was friends with his friend Tony
  • They talked a lot during the recovery phase
  • They keep in touch regularly
  • Got in contact with Michael Phelps during his rehab

35:12 The Costco Gap and skating in Taiwan

  • Search on YouTube - Ryan Sheckler Costco gap
  • He did the basic jump successfully on the first try
  • Four tries later did a kick-flip
  • In Taiwan, almost got run over by a truck on a freeway
  • Skateboarding in Taiwan is epic
  • At the time, just healed from a knee surgery

51:15 Three to five most important ingredients of success

  • Presence
  • Focus
  • Variable
  • Care
  • Being O.K. with failure

53:53 Family life and his dogs

  • Walter - a seven-year-old French Bulldog
  • Leo - a 10-year-old lab mix
  • Met his wife thanks to their dogs

58:10 The Sheckler Foundation

  • Had an experience with Make a Wish Foundation
  • Raising $240,000
  • The Sheckler Foundation

1:03:25 Fill in the blanks

  • One thing in life that you haven't done yet, but always wanted to do
  • The proudest moment of his life

Sandee | Bliss: Beaches

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