A Shoutout to My Inspirations,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for, first of all, being yourself. You never set out to be a different man or woman than what you are now—all you knew you wanted to do was succeed at being the best “you” as humanly possible. In doing so, you were—knowingly or not—writing a story for me, and the rest of us, to read. A story that would give us the excitement to get up early in the morning and push out more sweat; create more bruises; fail more to learn more. That same story helps us get to sleep at night; we close our eyes and drift off into our subconscious, all the while saying, “I can because they did.” You crafted that story.
Thank you for enduring criticism. No one may ever know the struggles you faced, or the pains that you endured to get to where you are now—our stories are all different, of course. But I know you did—I know that behind all the Instagram pictures and Facebook posts, well before I started breaking, you were in a constant battle. A battle with doubt. Were you truly good enough, or was your mind just making the impossible seem possible? A battle with fear. What if you fail, what then? A battle with people and words. Critics deriding your every move, your style, your passion; telling you you’re “whack” or that you are trash; others who would put no confidence behind you—you would feel alone, isolated in your quest.
Had it not been for your mettle; your selflessness to endure for the culture and your will, there would be no one for me, or anyone else for that matter, to relate to. There would be no one that could show us that, although you may lose on the floor or in the cypher, the battle off the floor is what really molds you. Those are lessons that may get taken for granted by some, but by me, I am so grateful.
Thank you for educating and reaching out. I’m sure you are well aware, but your words and knowledge have far more impact than any one move. You helped generate an interest in my generation’s pursuit of the craft; helped us understand that our dance has roots, a culture, and a history that truly separates us from others. Besides the moves you helped me understand and learn, you spoke words that would fundamentally shape my essence and soul in being a B-Boy. More importantly, you show—and continue to show me—that being educated opens doors to not just the dance, but life; doors that once opened are never shut.
You taught me that being a B-Boy is being a member of a family, a worldwide community. And to share it; to pass things forward humbly creates bonds that last for a lifetime.
Last of all, thank you for continuing to break. I know that sounds odd, but seriously, you are showing not just me, but everyone, that real Hip-Hop and breaking is a lifestyle that spans generations. You are showing that joy comes not in success, but in a legacy that goes beyond age or occupation—life as a B-Boy can be lived, and lived in balance with anything and everything else.
To you: to the generations of breakers before me, and to my inspirations that preceded me and continue to keep me on my toes.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach