Tony Hawk ramps it up for festival

On May 23, the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce’s A Sporting Life Health Family Festival will take place at the Oak Crest Middle School Upper Field from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Skateboarding legend and Encinitas local Tony Hawk is the feature performer. He will be one of the many world-class athletes participating in the event.
Hawk took some time recently to answer questions about his involvement with the event and his feelings about the importance of healthy living.
For more information about the A Sporting Life Health Family Festival and a complete list of athletes set to appear, activities, ticket information and more, visit www.asportinglife.org.
Q. What made you want to get involved with the A Sporting Life Health Family Festival event?
Tony Hawk: To support the city of Encinitas and to raise awareness about staying healthy, especially through sports like skateboarding.
Q. As a world-class athlete, how important do you feel it is to educate today’s youth about nutrition, diet and exercise?
Tony Hawk: It is paramount to becoming a healthy adult. The No. 1 cause of cancer in today’s youth is childhood obesity. I want to encourage kids to get out there and be active in whatever interests them (even if it is different).
Q. What role has healthy living played in your life and now in your own family members’ lives?
Tony Hawk: I watched my dad eat unhealthy foods most of his adult life and he suffered greatly from it. It made me want to stay healthy even if I am no longer skating professionally (which keeps me healthy by default). If I feel like my kids are spending too much time on the computer, playing videogames, or watching television, I will take them outside and do something active like swimming or playing games.
Q. As a young skater growing up in North County, what decisions did you make that you feel helped shape your success?
Tony Hawk: Staying active and focused in my chosen activity. Even though skating wasn’t globally popular, I had plenty of support in North County. If I had lived somewhere else, I would have probably been discouraged and given up.
Q. Discipline plays a big role in all top athletes’ careers. Can you explain how discipline has factored into your success?
Tony Hawk: I refused to give up on a goal (like learning a trick) even at the expense of injuring myself. I had to realize my potential no matter what.
Q. What advice do you have for youngsters who aspire to achieve success similar to what you and your peers have achieved?
Tony Hawk: Don’t give up. Setbacks and discouragement are simply challenges to see if you  have what it takes to persevere and succeed. Stay healthy, stay active and enjoy yourself.

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