BEET LEAGUE SKATEBOARDING
(Beet Juice with Apple, Carrot, Greens, Ginger and Lemon)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
Given that Street League is starting its qualifying rounds this weekend, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this career-defining contest series.
In the summer of 2010, the Berrics posted a series of videos called “Writing Paper.” In each of the videos Rob Dyrdek approached one of skateboarding’s finest and discussed the format of a revolutionary contest circuit. Pros like PJ Ladd, Eric Koston, and Greg Lutzka sat down with Dyrdek to discuss—with both ambition and trepidation—the logistics of a new contest circuit involving a combination of individual runs, allotted attempts, and, most importantly, an indoor plaza-style course.
Ingenuity in skateboarding comes and goes (sometimes seemingly without justification—what happened to powerlytes?), but when an idea sticks and gains millions of followers, it’s not by accident. I don’t think it’s controversial to state that most scoring systems are (by nature) poorly calibrated and not equipped to appreciate the intricacies of skateboarding. I’m not saying that point systems in general are good or bad, but rather that any scoring system in skateboarding will inevitably be subject to disagreement. All that said, if we accept that no scoring system can be perfectly calibrated, Street League is undoubtedly the high-water mark.
While the format of the contest may have changed over the years, one thing has not: These. Guys (and Gals). Go. Hard. When I watch the SLS pros tear up the park in an arena with thousands of fans cheering at the top of their lungs, I feel a whole lot more sheepish for launching my “I’m old” excuse when my legs start to cramp. It’s obvious from (1) the level of skateboarding at SLS, (2) the behind-the-scenes footage in The Motivation film series, and (3) my conversations with a few pros, that these guys take care of their bodies. They don’t dick around: they stretch, they eat right, they warm up. Watch a circuit and you’ll see that endurance is just as important as moxie.
On the topic of endurance, many endurance athletes are beginning to swear by beet juice. Runners, cyclists, and football players have all promoted this juice as a boon to the body’s ability improve blood flow, build tolerance against high-intensity exercise, and replenish electrolytes. Indeed, beets are high in potassium and can support nerve and muscle function by fighting weakness, fatigue, and cramps. Beets are also high in vitamin C, betaine (supports liver health), and nitrates which can help lower blood pressure.
While not everybody may be skating as intensely as the SLS pros, it stands to reason that adding some beet juice to your pre-skating routine can help to keep you pushing just a little bit longer. Let’s make sure we’re on the same page: When I talk about beets, try not to envision that blood-red block of gelatinous substance that slides lethargically out of a can around Thanksgiving; instead, imagine fresh beet roots coming from the ground, juiced with carrots, apples, greens, ginger and topped off with a squeeze of lemon. Though I quantify the ingredients below, feel free to add as much or as little of any ingredient as you like (for instance, not everybody is crazy about ginger).
Enough talk, let’s get juicing.
- 3 fresh beets with stems/roots cut off
- 2 medium red delicious apples
- 3 medium carrots
- 2-3 cups of fresh greens (I prefer a kale/spinach mix)
- 15-20g ginger root (about the size of a thumb)
- squeeze of ½ lemon
- First, cut up your ingredients as necessary. If you bought the beets in bunches, cut the stems and leaves off and slice off the tops and bottom slightly just so you’re not juicing stems or roots. Cut the beets and apples in half for easy juicing.
- Start juicing all of those ingredients except the lemon. The order doesn’t matter, just juice ‘em up until you’re done. Squeeze in the lemon and then stir it up to create a delicious red elixir.
- If you don’t have a juicer, it is possible to make this with a blender. Blend all of the chopped ingredients and then, using a strainer cloth, strain the juice from the blender, pressing on the pulp to get any extra juice out. Obviously, the juicer works better, but either method will do.
- Guzzle it down and go skate.
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