PHOTOS BY: Joseph Gammill, @jogammphotography

A lot can transpire within a calendar year, both for the good and the bad. Life is filled with adversities and triumphs, tears of sadness and tears of joy. But your time spent on this earth is what you make it and how you respond to difficulty can ultimately sculpt who you are as a person.

Through pain and loss, we learn to appreciate our family and friends more and we learn to be more mindful and cherish the time that we have together. My good friend Anthony Medina is a great example of someone who has learned to channel his pain and transform it into something positive and honorable.

I had the opportunity to discuss with Ant about his busy last twelve months and he talks with us about a special project that him and his friends have been working on to celebrate the life of our brother Keaton Newsom.

Where did you start 2019?

Motivated. We started filming for Candy late in 2018 so it’s been my focus since the beginning of the year. Most of my free time has been Candy related. 

Where are you ending 2019?

As the year comes to a close we’re finishing up the last bits of filming. Now comes the hard part. I’m nervous but excited. I’m mostly excited to show our project and take a break from “serious” skating for a while.

Favorite memories from 2019:

Blading Cup was probably the best weekend of the year for me. I got to see so many people and Texas went deep this year. Non-skating related I got engaged so that was big. 

Spots traveled to in 2019:

I went to Atlanta for the 10th, and hopefully not last, A-Town Stomp. I love Atlanta and always have a great time seeing the homies there. I went to NYC for my first Boschi Pope Skate Off and that was amazing. Blading Cup was amazing as I mentioned. I was able to spend some quality time with Micah and see his wife and meet their daughter. That was awesome to see and honestly made me excited to become a father, at some point. I also went to Seattle, non-blading related. So much of my year has been dedicated to filming/blading so I needed a weekend away just me and the lady. I love the Pacific northwest. Such a rad place.

Playlist that sums up 2019:

I listened to a lot of stuff while finding songs for Candy but my go to’s for pleasure were Larry June, Joy Division, Alvvays, Damien Jurado and The Velvet Underground. Random, I know. 

3 video picks you watched over and over in 2019:
Brian Weis VX VOD, Alex Broskow Powder Promo, Sean Keane VOD

Photo of you or by you that sums up 2019:

The Candy Crew.

Goals accomplished in 2019:

I wouldn’t exactly say this is a goal but it’s very rewarding. When Joseph Gammill and I created the “KEATON” tees we had no idea it would become so popular. Our goal was to create something simple and clean ppl could wear to keep Keaton with us. After receiving Keaton’s Mother’s blessing, she suggested we do some sort of donation to Suicide awareness. We were able to donate nearly $500 to the cause. We also made the Keaton bracelets and I gave nearly 300 of those away. When I see a random Instagram video or photo and somebody is wearing a bracelet in it it makes me feel so good. It legitimately warms my heart. The Keaton gear has been so well received it’s great to see and makes me happy to see how many people he touched.

Something in 2019 you wish you had done:

Every year I don’t go to Winterclash I regret it. Unfortunately working a “normal” job I just don’t have the time off to go to every event. I’m bummed about not getting overseas this year at all. 

Something that made you grow in 2019:

Even though Keaton passed over a year ago it still affects me daily. His passing has made me so aware of “the moment” and respecting and loving the people in your life important to you. I feel like I should have communicated more with Keaton and it tears me up. I’ve just learned to reach out to your friends you don’t see as much and just let them know you love them. You never know what anybody is secretly going through or what kind of demons they’re dealing with. 

Something that kept you going throughout 2019:

Keaton. My constant motivation. I want to just skate chill stuff for fun. I’m tired of getting hurt haha. Keaton has been my motivation while filming for this video. It’s pushed me to go hard one more time. 

What are you looking forward to in 2020:

Obviously premiering the video and showing everybody our hard work. Outside of that I’m really looking forward to the return of Pow Wow, traveling more for non-blading purposes and just enjoying the moment more without any stress or pressure involved.

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