You Know You're at a Gathering When...
Well I just got back from Regeneration Gathering, and it was TOO HYPE. The battles, the level-ups, the raw energy… It was a crazy weekend to say the least! But for those of us who have been to more than a few gatherings, we know that there’s more to gatherings than what you see in the compilation videos. And for those that have yet to attend a gathering, you should know what you’re about to get into. So without further ado, I present to you the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright hilarious of how you know that you are at a tricking gathering.
When you secretly fangirl over your favorite trickers. Or… not so secretly.
You walk in the door, and you spot one of your tricking heroes. Now, some people play it cool. “Oh hey you’re Nick Vail, right? I’m Jeremy, nice to meet you man.” Other people… Not so much. “Oh my GOD you’re NICK FREAKING VAIL. I’m like your biggest fan I’ve seen ALL your videos will you PLEASE sign my shirt PLEASE I LOVE YOU MARRY ME.” Pro tip: don’t be the second guy. But don’t be afraid to go up and introduce yourself like the first guy! Every tricking celebrity is just a human being, so treat them like one! And if you do, you’ll probably find yourself in an organic and rewarding conversation with one of your idols.
When you find yourself at IHOP saying, “Table for 12 please.”
It seems like IHOP is THE place for getting breakfast or brunch at gatherings. We need a lot of food to fuel us and we usually don’t have much cash to spare, so it really is the perfect spot. Especially when you bring all your newfound friends with you!
When 3 of your last 4 meals have been pizza.
The gathering organizer usually includes a couple of dinners with the price of admission, and with all those people to feed, you can bet that it’s gonna be pizza. Pro tip: go get as many slices as you can as soon as the pizza arrives. They will be gone before you know it, and you’ll have to go somewhere else and pay extra money for food if you don’t fill up!
When you find yourself going “OOOOHHHH!!!!!!” and joining a Tricker Power Mob.
At some point, someone is going to land something crazy. Maybe it’s a double back, maybe it’s a triple cork, who knows? But if it’s their first time landing it, everyone is gonna go NUTS. Everyone will swarm them, patting them on the back and shouting with joy and raw adrenaline. So when that happens, whether you know the person or not, join right in! Feeding off that energy is exhilarating, and the person will appreciate all the extra support.
When you make a list of new tricks to start practicing.
At any gathering, you are exposed to people with skills that you’ve never seen before in your life, and after asking them for tips on their special tricks, you better go try them out! You might even level up right then and there!
When you see two perfectly straight guy trickers spooning at bedtime.
Hey, we’re all brothers and sisters here. Totally G-rated.
When people start breaking out the kamas, bo staffs, nunchaku, and swords.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is martial arts tricking after all! Xtreme Martial Arts, or XMA, really helped tricking grow into what it is today, so it’s good to see some XMA weapons flying around at gatherings. You might even be lucky enough to see a weapons battle!
When you discover that there is one toilet and no shower. Oh God.
Yeah. This is the less glorious side of gatherings… 100+ people sharing such meager facilities is not pretty, but it does add a unique flavor to the gathering experience. Or maybe not a flavor but a… stench. Which reminds me…
When you start wondering if your body odor is gone, or if you simply can’t smell it anymore.
You’ve been training for 48 hours straight without showering. Did you expect you’d smell like roses afterwards? ‘Cause I can guarantee that you won’t, and no one else will either. But it’s funny, at a certain point I think the air in the gym is just so full of sweat and stank that you simply don’t notice it anymore. Once you get there, you’re golden.
When you get jealous of your friend for getting 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
People will be training all night. And I mean ALL. NIGHT. So the music will probably continue blaring until well past 2 am, maybe even until sunrise. I don’t recommend pulling an all-nighter, but you’ll find that sleeping even a few hours is tough to do. Pro tip: bring a pillow and a blanket, and claim ownership of a comfy crash mat as soon as you can. If that doesn’t work, you can try sleeping in the foam pit, which looks surprisingly comfortable. And for the love of God, DON’T FORGET EARPLUGS.
When you think to yourself, “I am way too sore/tired to session again” before… you session again.
You thought you’d only train for a couple of hours? You thought you’d have a “light session” because you’re nursing a bruised heel? LOL SO WRONG. Like I said, people will always be training, and the hype is always real. So even when you think you’ve reached your limit, even when you think your body just can’t trick anymore, you’ll find yourself back on the floor having the time of your life.
When you spend WAY too much money on merch.
You know those girls that get all excited when they go shopping? And they bring back like nine bags of clothes from the mall? Yeah… That’s basically us at gatherings. How are we supposed to resist Intrepid Tricking wristbands or United Tricking League tanks or Torque Tricking tees? All of a sudden this gathering just got wayyyy more expensive, but you couldn’t be happier about it.
When you leave the gathering thinking, “I gotta go train.”
You might assume that after a long gathering, you’d be sick of tricking for a moment. But NOPE. After seeing everyone around you drop such nasty tricks, your motivation to train and improve is gonna be stronger than ever.
When you make new friends.
It turns out that the best part about gatherings isn’t the crazy tricks or the battles or the famous trickers showing up in the flesh. What tops everything else is the opportunity to meet warm, like-minded people from around the state, country, or maybe even the world. And if you put yourself out there and try to make some new friends, you just might discover some incredible people who are just as interested to get to know you. And before you know it, you’ll feel like a member of a truly global community, like you’re part of something big and important and freakin’ awesome. And that’s something that doesn’t go away when you say your goodbyes. When you go home wearing your commemorative t-shirt, you’ll bring some incredible memories and new friendships with you. And even though gatherings test the limits of your hunger, fatigue, and lack of personal hygiene, it is these newfound relationships that make the gathering experience an unforgettable one.
Feel like bringing this glorious experience to your community by throwing a gathering of your very own? Check this out to find out how!