I have to admit, I am easy to please, and I am quick to give out 8.5’s, 9’s and even 10’s. If in that moment I cannot find anything wrong with the experience I just had whether it’s just a curb, or a full-blown skate plaza, if I had fun, I find no reason to declare the spot anything less than a 10. One of my colleagues, however, vehemently disagrees. 10, he states, is reserved for perfection. How can one attribute perfection (indicated by a 10 rating) to a skate spot when there is a lifetime of parks and spots yet to come. In anticipation for the next trip, perfection is placed on standby until it is worthy to be delivered. Yet, that moment never comes. See, perfection is elusive. It’s pursuit, in a paradoxical twist of irony, brings you further and further away from ever obtaining it. By waiting to obtain flawlessness, completion is never actually achieved.
In 2012, Shaun White was the first snowboarder to ever obtain a perfect score of 100 in Winter X Games history. A Perfect Score. It seems odd to give a subjective activity like Snowboarding the maximum amount of points available. Does that declaration mean that nobody will ever be better than him? Of course not. Everyday extreme athletes defy the limits of what mankind believed was possible. Even though Shaun’s score was perfect, there is still room for better. Perfection, in it’s truest and fullest form, will never be obtained.
But that’s the beauty of action sports. Success is not clearly defined, and there is no clear cut end goal. Even if you are the first person to ever land a triple cork, there are at least 7 other ways to rotate that same trick, and various degrees of flipping, spinning, and grabbing to incorporate. You may have been the first to ever do it, but have you done it competition? In a halfpipe? Never mind a Norwegian kid who will inevitably come along and do it at age 13 (true story).
Perfection is not a goal. It is a process. Every skater in constantly aiming to improve and get better day by day. Better in this sense means learning more tricks, getting comfortable on the board, developing consistency, and finding creative ways to land old tricks. Perfection will truly never be achieved and this isn’t news.
James 1:2 describes perfection as being “complete and lacking nothing."
For as long as we live, we are going to lack something. The unfortunate reality is that we are promised pain, suffering, disappointment, tragedy, and everything in between. We are humans all striving toward the finishing line, where we will finally be made perfect. But until then, we press on slowly. 1% a day, one step at a time. Bearing fruit requires patience. It’s not an overnight process. We are “being made perfect” only as we grow in our Christ likeness.
Therefore, we strive to get better, but recognize it’s not the accomplishment we aim for but the process by we which we get there. And that, is perfection.