Today we’d like to introduce you to Nena Becerra.
Nena, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born and raised in East La. We were broke, I used to ask my sister if I can use her rollerblades they were adjustable I made them as small as possible but they Were still too big. I didn’t care I loved the way it felt when I would bomb hills. I was a sad kid, I was abandoned by my mother so I found peace in skating. It made me feel alive. Being broke, you do a lot of physical activity I would climb trees, jump over bushes, and play street soccer.
I love the streets there’s something calming about the noise and the way the pavement feels, how fast I can go on it. I was flying and I didn’t care if I fell, I didn’t even know how to stop on them. Rollerskating brought me happiness and in that, I found true purpose in my life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I was always the black sheep in every aspect of my life in school, home, my family, the music I listened to. I was teased for not having a mother. They called me a trouble maker. Even at school, I had a reputation, all the teachers and principals knew about me. I always felt different and it was hard to make friends. I felt alone and that I had lived a life no one would understand so I stayed away from people. I isolated myself because I needed to find out who I was and what would bring me happiness. I wasn’t the kid with the good grades, I never listened I was always defiant I let myself become the defiant one because that was my label I embraced it I love being called a trouble maker now. I came from humble beginnings my grandparents climbed the fence of the border for a better life. I’m very lucky to have been born here. They put their lives on the line for my family.
Please tell us about PatiNena.
I’m known for tearing it up everywhere and being an aggressive and fast skater. I love leaving an intense impression on people. I’m incredibly competitive and I love showing off my skills. I leave a mark everywhere I go, I carry myself with respect when it comes to my craft, I don’t want popularity I want respect from my community from the skate parks themselves. I demand attention everywhere I go, I’ve always been that way. Being the middle child, I suppose I craved attention I never got.
What sets me apart is my integrity. The life that was given to me was everything but ordinary I made the best of it. It was painful I thought I was going to die. I didn’t want to be a statistic I wanted to be the difference the 1 in a million I never stopped believing in that. I’m proud of where I come from, I have so much pride but I wasn’t always like this. In my youth, I’d be ashamed I tried to hide the fact that I was Mexican, that I spoke Spanish it’s terrible. I hated my arms I was constantly made fun of. You can’t hide who you are. You can’t run from it. Embrace yourself unconditionally, listen to that voice that says there is something special about you.
I’m proud of all my friends I’ve made while skating, they have progressed so much. I want to empower people. I love my city, my home, my people. I try to look out for them. I owe them everything. Without their positivity and kindness, I would not be here.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Spending time at my grandparent’s house in East LA. The house was big and beautiful bursting with life. My Abuela planted fruit trees and flowers I thought it was magical. I would play outside and swing on the tree branches I thought it would never end. I never wanted to leave. She always cut fresh fruit for us and I remember how the juices would drip down my arms. I l ones playing outside. I cherish those memories I played outside with the neighborhood kids
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Antony Gilz @_tonyhimself_