"Skateboarding has such a risk of injury that it forces you to be in the moment. If you're not in the moment, you're gonna get smoked. You have to be present. And, by being present, you can't be anywhere else. You have to be in a flow state."
"The only way I thought I could do the job in sales and enjoy it was by living in a van, and not flying back and forth. Kind of simplifying my life. So, I convinced the company to let me do it. I said, "Hey, I'm going to buy the van, I'll build it out myself. You guys don't need to invest any money, I'll do it." That was part of the sales pitch on my end, for the company letting me work with virtually no oversight for a year. So, I did. I bought the van and I built it out, and that was my introduction to woodworking. I found myself, everyday, I loved it. It was super hard, it was a real challenge. I made so many mistakes. My dad watched me build the whole thing, and he let me make mistakes. But, the van life - starting that and building that van - that was my introduction to woodworking."
"If you keep skating and get to a place where you can actually go to a skatepark or go skate a street spot, and get into a space where you're able to flow around and skate and land more than you fall, you feel time doesn't exist. It happens on these long bike tours. I'll do 100 miles, 120 miles, and I'm at mile 60 and my body is saying, "Dude, you're done." And then I keep going, and then I'm at mile 80, and I've got 30 miles left, and it's getting dark. I've been in places where I don't have enough water, or where it's below freezing and I've got the sun going down and I know it's going to get way colder than freezing. I've only got half a liter of water. You just keep going. By it being so hard, it forces you to be in the moment. With woodworking, it's the exact same thing."
"It's so hard because you have to think about the cuts, the way the grain's flowing. You have to think about the angle. You have to think about future things, like does it have to have finish on before or after. The ultimate payoff is when you see a piece. I see it, I really take it in, and then I keep going. I go onto the next one. The payoff is the conversation you have with yourself, everyday of that. That's the real fulfillment."
Daniel just finished up his Heart of Texas Tour, where he biked 700 miles across Texas to raise $18,000+ for youth skateboarding. Please consider donating to the tour at the link here and follow along with Daniel's skating and life @danielbarousse and his woodwork and art @barousseworks on Instagram.
Check out Daniel's favorite Sojen product: The Sleep Tincture.
For the complete conversation with Daniel, listen to Episode 1 of Flow State on Spotify.