Morgan so stoked to chat. I’ve been looking forward to this call for a while now. How have you been?
Really really good. Honestly, just so many life changes. Married. Nursing school. Just getting back into skating.
I saw you posted a skate clip the other day, but I can’t remember what it was.
Yeah, that was actually an accident. I was trying to do a little blunt to 50/50 but then accidentally did a blunt to back smith and was like, "Okay, I'll take it."
You’re coming off a pretty gnarly injury. Are you down to share about it?
I feel like it was so dumb, but I’m down. There was a guy that had been trying to ollie down this six stair for about three hours and kept trying and bailing every time. I was like, "Dude, if you just land it, I'll try to do it too." I banked on him not landing it, but he was like, "Oh, what?! Sick. Okay." Well, first try, go figure, he landed it. I wasn't too scared though, because I had ollied the five stair at the Berrics, so I knew it was possible, but I also knew that I wasn’t really the best at ollieing down sets, and I kind of usually just rolled off of them. I stuck it a few times and landed bolts, but I was sliding out when I landed and was afraid I would hurt my elbow. I just had this weird feeling that day. I remember when I first got to the park, I had this weird eerie feeling that something bad was going to happen. Anyway, I tried a few more times, came off the board weirdly, and knew I hurt my ankle right away.
What was going through your mind after you got hurt?
I called Nicky and my parents, but no one answered. My foot was literally just dangling off my leg, so I knew I needed to go to the hospital. A friend held my hand and asked to pray for me. She hadn't prayed in like ten years, so that was really cool. At the hospital, I skipped everyone in the waiting room because my blood pressure was so low. I think it was so low that I actually could have died. My body was in shock. I had to stay overnight, and they could not get my pain to die down at all. My body kept convulsing all night until they finally gave me a nerve blocker and took me in for surgery. I remember sitting there thinking, "Man, I cannot imagine Jesus on the cross." My parents were on each side of my bed holding my hands, kind of like I was on a cross, which is probably why I had that image in my mind. My body was just shaking, and they were looking at each other crying. It was rough, but it gave me a good perspective of what suffering feels like and how grateful I am that Jesus went through that for me.
Such a heavy analogy! Wow! I’m surprised you wanted to get back on a skateboard to be honest.
I am dealing a bit with the trauma of getting injured and trying to find my love for skateboarding again. Well, obviously I love it, but it's a little scarier now, and I feel like I’m regressing. I’ve had the chance to help lead an all-girl skate camp, and it brings me so much joy watching these little girls get stoked on skateboarding and remembering that same feeling I had when I first started skating. It has caused me to slow down a lot more and help other people at the skatepark instead of having the mindset of, “I just need to get this trick,” which kept me from talking to other people.
Do you feel like this has always been your heart posture toward skating or do you think you have this new perspective just because of the injury?
It could have been the injury, but it could also be time and maturity.
Tell us more about the ministry you’ve been working with.
One of the main reasons we moved to Kansas City was because we heard about a group of skaters who were leading a ministry called Varsity Skate. Right away, they invited us in to help lead, and we’ve been able to be a part of the leader nights. When I was at Ride Nature, I was single, but now being married and getting to do ministry with my husband and seeing Nicky glorifying the Lord with skateboarding is so cool!
What does skate ministry look like for you guys now?
We meet every Tuesday, go to a park, bring pizza or hotdogs, do a little Bible study, and hang out with the skaters, pretty much like skate church at Ride. We ask, "What are your highs and lows of the week?" And then we might split up into prayer groups or something. The founder of Varsity has a mini ramp in his backyard, like the Ride Nature ramp, so we go over there to skate on leader nights. Nicky and I have also been helping out with some of the skate camps.
You gotta share the story of your and Nicky’s relationship. It’s literally a miracle!
I'll just go ahead and say we were friends for three years, and then finally, I decided to give him a chance and date him…blah, blah blah. Ironically, that's when I started skating. So skateboarding came into my life with Nicky. He gave me a board so I could start learning. I had always known that I wanted a personal relationship with the Lord, but in the midst of our relationship, I knew I wasn’t living it out. I found out about the Surf Retreat you guys were hosting in Florida and told Nicky that I wanted to go check it out, and he was like, “Okay, whatever." I went to Florida, fully surrendered my life to the Lord, got baptized, and then came home and said, "Oh, actually I want to go back and intern there." And he was like, "What? You're crazy!" The whole time I just kept saying, "I don't care. I'm pursuing Jesus, and you're pursuing skateboarding. This probably isn't going to work out." I kept trying to break up with him. I think like four different times I legit tried to break up. I knew how much Nicky liked me and how much he loved me in a worldly sense, but I didn't want him to just get to know Jesus because of me. I was like, "I don't want you to just act like you are religious so that we can be together." I started praying for him for months, and when he came to visit me at Ride, I kind of gave God an ultimatum. I prayed and said, "God, if he doesn't give his life to you on this trip when he comes to visit me, then I'm going to break up with him." Jamie Thomas was there visiting, and he was one of Nicky’s favorite skaters. Jamie shared a message over that trip and presented the Gospel, and Nicky had the opportunity to sit in and listen to his testimony. Afterward, he came up to me and told me, "I want to give my life to Christ fully." And then I was like, "Okay, well, let's go then." Yet, in the back of my mind, I was still like, "I'm going to see how he does." My heart was still thinking, "I don't want him to do this for me." For the next couple of months, Nicky would text me messages like, "The Lord said this to me," or "I read this today, and I'm learning all this about Jesus." It started to become real when I realized he was truly praying, spending time in the Word, and chasing after the Lord's heart. So I stuck with him. Next thing you know, we got engaged, and now we’re married.
In what ways do you feel Ride Nature encouraged you and/or prepared you for the season that you’re in right now?
Being in nursing school right now is hard because I want to move to California and work with the new Ride Nature base there. I'm sick of waiting. I don't want to be a nurse. I want to go skate and surf and I want to love on people. But I think being an intern and a part of the discipleship program; I had to learn to wait because I had such an adventurous heart, and I wanted to go do X, Y, and Z all the time. I think even just learning to wait on the Lord through what felt like mundane tasks, like sitting at the coffee shop or fixing up the skate park in the backyard, it taught me to slow down and to serve in ways that I didn't think looked like serving. It definitely helped me to become more of a servant-hearted person and gave me a huge love for skaters and a desire for them to come to know Jesus. Even though I got injured and I'm a little scared of skateboarding, I still want to get better at it because I know that a lot of skaters respect style and skill. I just love what Ride's doing, and I think it's totally led by the Spirit, and my heart will always long to be a part of it. When people ask me what I want to do with my life, I usually say, "Well, the biggest way that I was ever impacted was on this random surf retreat in Florida, and I would love to be able to give other people a similar opportunity.” I love the idea of getting people away from their lives for a moment and just getting outside to experience God’s creation while spending time with other people pouring into each other. I would love to pour into people’s lives and teach them that their body is a temple and how to feed themselves spiritually instead of just shoving things in their minds. I think using action sports is a really sweet way to do that, especially surfing since the ocean impacts so many people. When people see the intensity of the Ocean and just how beautiful and vast it is, I think they can’t help but to experience God.
We definitely miss you and are bummed that we never got to do life with Nicky. Maybe someday!
I graduate December 2023. The plan is to take my nursing exams out in California because if I don't take it in California, then it's just this long weird process for getting my license there. Even though I’m over school, I'm learning grit and reliance. But our hope is to get out to California. We would love to be a part of the ministry if we move out there. We’re headed out in March to get a feel for it, but I know we are going to love it…