Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms -- Ariel Robins has been skateboarding for five years and comes from small-town Palacios, Texas. He plans on going to medical school to become an anesthesiologist after completing his career in the Marine Corps.
> I started skateboarding as a freshman in high school because it was fun and challenging. It’s always been a stress reliever. It’s a little late for me to make a career out of it, but I’m always trying to learn new tricks.
> I enjoy vert skating, or riding at skate parks because it’s fluid, but most of the time I street skate. In vert skating, you can stay on a half-pipe and use your momentum for the next trick. With street skating, I’ll usually have tricks planned for the line I want to do.
> California is a great place to practice, whether it’s longboarding down a hill or doing tricks on ramps. I’m always looking for good spots to skate.
> Anyone who skateboards is going to fall. It’s easy to mess up but you learn from those mistakes. With persistence, you will eventually stick the landing and it will be worth those times you fell.
> Waiting in the delayed entry program for a year, I did a lot of skateboarding. I dislocated my hip a month and a half before recruit training, but I was able to recover in time.
> I grew up fishing and hunting in Palacios, Texas, and I spent a lot of time playing high school soccer. Sports are a great way to stay active and spend time with friends.
> I’ve been hunting since I could hold a gun. The first gun I shot was a 12-gauge shotgun. I must have been five or six years old. I remember the recoil knocking me off the bench.
> My dad taught me to shoot, and he always emphasized I should never kill something just to kill it.
> Fishing is my favorite hobby. My family and I fish together all the time. It’s always been a relaxing way to spend time and bring everyone closer together.
> Sometimes negative situations can have a positive outcome. One time we went on a fishing trip and when we came back, our house was in ashes after catching on fire. My dad hired contractors to build a new foundation for the house, but my family and I rebuilt the rest of it. It was alright because the new house turned out better.
> I’ve been working all my life and that’s helped me in the Marine Corps. Growing up in a rural area, it’s just a part of daily life.
> One big thing I’ve learned so far is you have to get along with people even if you don’t like them. There’s no point in showing it if it’s just going to create tension in the workplace.
> I’ve met a lot of great mentors and peers, who I’ve learned a lot from. I’ve also learned from mistakes I’ve made and have seen others make. It’s taught me what I should and shouldn’t do as a leader.
> I’m looking forward to my new unit in Camp Lejeune. I got orders to [8th Communication Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force]. I’m excited to experience countries I haven’t been to yet and meet new people.