Influence: A Skater’s Story

 Andy McIntosh - changing lives at the Truck Stop Skate Park in Bend, Oregon.

Sometimes, you do a job because you love it.

The pay is lousy.

The hours are long.

The perks are few.

The challenges are intense.

The advancement opportunities are limited, or even non-existent.

But you love it, and the value of loving it swallows up pesky things like small paychecks and no benefits package.

My brother has been working in a job like this for years.

Andy’s faithfully managed the Truck Stop Skate Park in Bend, Oregon since its existence, spending his time in a cold warehouse to the tune of wheels on concrete and the backdrop of 6, 9, and 14-year-olds shouting DUDE, that was sick! because he adores kids and wants to see them have a safe and accessible place to thrive and grow and have a little fun.

Last week the Truck Stop closed its doors. The space is set to change hands to a new owner later this month who will transform it into something more cost effective and perhaps a little more “successful”.

They haven’t found a new facility for the Truck Stop yet (or the slew of Central Oregon young people that have called it their second home), but they’re looking.

Andy McIntosh - mentoring youth at the Truck Stop Skate Park. Bend, Oregon.

And this guy?

He has faith. He’s not discouraged. He’s not depressed about the loss of his domain or his job security.

Because he was never in it for the money or prestige or even the accolades of others. He was never in it to become somebody’s hero… and yet that’s exactly what he became to countless young people.

Andy was in it for the love of the sport and—more importantly—the love of the kids.

Some people lose influence when they lose a position… but if their influence was derived from relationship, rather than from a title, their influence remains even when their position falters.

That’s why I know that whether they find a new facility to relocate the Truck Stop or not, Andy will continue to mentor young kids and find a way to input into their lives. He will continue to have influence.

He’ll always be the kind of guy that young kids look up to and trust and want to call their friend.

He’ll always be the guy known around Oregon for being the “nicest person you’ve ever met”. (Seriously, everybody knows him, and everybody says the exact same thing… because he is.)

Yup, that’s my baby brother: a cheerleader, a champion, a giver of space for kids to become who they’re meant to become.

He’s an influencer, though he’d probably never label himself one, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons he’s so good at what he does.

In Australia, we’d call him a legend.

Andy McIntosh – a legend, indeed.

Hey friends, does your influence depend on a job title or position? Is it limited by the confines of your “station” in life? Or do you let your influence ooze from who you are and through the relationships you build? Does it take shape within the scope of your generosity and hospitality and genuine investment in the lives of others?

The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Andy.

Love you mate. So proud to be your sis.

A xo

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