Every gathering is different; this is true when you compare different events, as well as the same event, from year to year. This year, New Heights was no exception.
Last year, I got food poisoning, and spent much of the gathering in my hotel room, sicker than I ever want to be again. It was truly frustrating, not only because it was uncomfortable, but because tricktheory had just launched to the public a few days prior, and I was unable to really be present, and begin the journey that this year has been. This year, I was asked to come and teach seminars, and I hope I was able to exceed everyone’s expectations. New Heights will always be tricktheory’s anniversary gathering, and it means a lot to me that I was gifted the opportunity to fully step into my chosen roll in the community at this event. It has been a very long time since I’ve been able to teach something more than a quick tip, or single trick, and it was extremely fulfilling.
This gathering felt notably different to me.. it felt unique. All the usual components were present: powerful trickers, seminars, battles, laughter, conversations, hugs, love, etc, yet there was something more, something deeper. I spoke with people all weekend who were looking to build community. I spoke with people trying to improve their business, or increase their entrepreneurship. I spoke with others seeking council on their next steps in life, and how or where to find their happiness. I laughed with my friends. I made new ones. I connected. That’s what this thing we do is about. That is what tricking is about, and that is what this event, more than most I’ve been to, was about. New Heights 2015, to me, was an experience rooted in love and a sense of validation of my own path in life.
I usually talk about the tricks or trickers who made an impression on me, but this gathering wasn’t about that. In my opinion, the truest measure of a successful gathering is not something as trivial as a new trick being landed, or an individual destroying the floor. The true measure of success is the moments you will take with you for years to come. Ricky Pheng will stick with me for years. His tricking family from the east coast, the squad from Euphoria and Trick Dynamix were there with us, and I have never seen a man so happy before. He was a like a small child on christmas when they first arrived. I will remember the small group of guys that joined nearly all of the US’s promoters for an open Q and A session. I believe I spoke with just about all of them at some point, and saw a deep thirst to better their tricking, their communities and tricking as a whole, but most importantly, to better themselves. I will remember the sense of fulfillment I find in teaching people. I will remember Manny Guerra and Nick Hobson’s hard work, without which I would have none of these memories. I will remember the delicious catering, and hope to have some more next year. I will remember being overwhelmed by the number of incredibly talented trickers that I have yet to meet. I will remember the overwhelming joy I feel now.
So many people complain, perhaps jokingly, about the post-gathering depression. I, on the other hand, am energized. I was given an experience that will never be replicated, and brief as it may have been, will be with me and will shape me for the rest of my life. I don’t feel sad because it ended, I feel joy because I was able to live it.
Thank you again, to Nick and GyRo! This year’s gathering was everything I could have asked for, but didn’t even realize I needed.