For Pro Skateboarder Neen Williams, learning from mistakes and rising above goes beyond shredding and landing bolts. After years of unhealthy habits taking a toll on his body, Neen has embraced wellness and sobriety to continue doing what he loves. As a certified kettlebell and steel mace specialist - along with a sweet line of spices and recipes - Neen's commitment to fitness and maximizing his performance in all facets of life is undeniable.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to invest more in your personal fitness?
It was after my second ACL reconstruction surgery. At this point in my life I was 28 years old and realized that I had to choose either to stay on the destructive path I was on or switch things up and start doing things that benefited me in a positive way. Little by little, I started on a path to a new me. I began to learn more about my body and mind and started to focus on bettering my situation. I aimed for a new goal, to reach my optimal performance and longevity with the things I love.
What keeps you motivated?
First and foremost, my goals keep me motivated. One of my goals is to skate forever and to feel good while skating forever takes a lot of work. Skateboarding is destructive to one’s body over time. Knowing this, there's a lot of upkeep you need to do to keep your body in tip top shape. This motivates me to push hard and do everything I can each day to reach this goal. Another big thing that keeps me motivated is hearing that sharing my experiences and knowledge with people has drastically helped them find a better path. Seeing people make these changes in their lives and bettering themselves keeps me motivated. The last thing that keeps me motivated is plain and simple - I strive to feel good. Feeling good is addictive, I want to feel good all day everyday and this motivates me.
"At the moment my primary goal is longevity. So I'm always working on how I can strengthen vital areas to reach my optimal performance. So I can do the things I love forever."
How do you embrace the “better than yesterday” mindset in your day-to-day?
I embrace the "Better Than Yesterday" mindset everyday. It’s what I live by. Everyday I do my best to do a little more than the previous day. I’m always in search of how I can better myself as a person, in the gym and on my skateboard. I love learning more each day.
When you feel unfocused or get off-track, what do you do to re-align?
Meditation. That’s my key to freeing up my mind and allowing me to focus.
Do you have a favorite failure? How has that set you up for later success?
In skateboarding, failure is often. When trying a trick you fail over and over. Sometimes you make it and sometimes you don't. If you don't land the trick you come back another day and try again. Persistence is key, the more you practice and try, the more likely it is you’ll work through your demons and land that trick.
What piece of advice would you give your twenty-year old self?
The most valuable piece of information I would give myself at 20 is "everything in moderation" and how it applies to all things. If I knew what I know now I would feel a million times better today. Additionally, it’s the little things that count; mobility drills, foam rolling, daily maintenance and strength training, all of these things will benefit you in the future and help promote longevity in the things you love.