Changing perspective ramps up Nathaniel’s creativity


“To me, BMX is just another form of art.”

That’s how Nathaniel Navratil, designer and art director in our Fargo office, describes his biggest passion.

Nathaniel on Fargo BMX skate ramp

BMX, or bicycle motocross, refers to “the sport of racing 20-inch bicycles on dirt-bike-style tracks, performing stunts on everyday street obstacles or even specifically designed ramps/skateparks.” (Wikipedia).

“Except for the danger part, it’s no different than dancing or gymnastics in my mind,” explains Nathaniel. “There is a lot of style that goes into how a person rides or does his or her tricks.”

How it all began

Nathaniel grew up jumping curbs. Going fast and trying to get his bike up in the air were always on his mind. Then, in about 1995, his best friend got the movie “RAD” as a birthday gift.

According to Nathaniel, “It’s a super cheesy 80s movie about a kid trying to go pro. To a 12-year-old, it was the coolest thing ever made. I remember watching it in slow motion, pausing it and then running outside to try do what I just saw.”

Ever since, he’s been a BMXer.

Nathaniel riding BMX

As he gets older, Nathaniel’s not as excited about learning the biggest or most difficult tricks. Instead, his favorite moments riding include getting up early on Saturday mornings and heading to the skatepark before anyone is even there. “I’m just cruising around with the whole place to myself, watching the sun come up over the dike.”

Nathaniel tries to ride as often as he can, but realistically, he gets out there two to three times a week. For him, it’s a stress reliever, an escape. It also fits into his active life.

“A year or two ago I kind of had an epiphany of sorts,” says Nathaniel. “Without proper nutrition, you are not going to stay healthy. Even though we are taught that throughout grade school, it fades around the time a person heads off to college and starts getting into that ‘cheap’ food mentality.” BMXing fits right into his health and fitness-focused lifestyle.

How one passion fuels another

An expression of his creativity, riding goes hand-in-hand with designing. “You see the world in a different light. Some might look at a building’s architecture as beautiful or interesting, where I think, ‘I could ride my bike on that wall or do a flip off that sculpture.’” Nathaniel concludes, “Obviously I won’t be able to ride BMX forever, but I hope I can retain a unique perspective of looking at things.”

Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Nathaniel

What’s your dream job?
Honestly, a stay-at-home dad.

Which job would you not want to have?

How do you spark creativity?
It can come from anywhere, at any time.

What was your first job?
Real tax-paying job, believe it or not, was a lifeguard at the local pool when I was 15. I ate so much candy from concessions it wasn’t even funny. I also gave a whole bunch of old ladies chemical burn on their butts by forgetting to rinse off the toilet cleaner.

What did it teach you?
Being a lifeguard at the local swimming pool sucks.

What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day?

Role model?
Too many to list, but a few are C.S. Lewis, Ron Paul and Adam Kokesh.

What’s the best advice you ever got?
Never let money stop you from doing the things you want to do.

What sound do you love?
A crackling fire.

What scent do you love?
Pipe tobacco.

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