If you skate with me on the daily lately, there is something noticeably different about me from a year ago. I leveled up my skateboarding experience. The McTwist is still a no-go but the Carve and Grind Program I prescribed myself is starting to take on a life of it’s own lately. I have also noticed the dudes I have been skating on the regular have all stepped it up and are ripping. Does this have anything to do with the fact I turned 50 years old this year, 40 of those years on a skateboard? I was never that good at skateboarding. I am clumsy, un-coordinated and scared of heights, but it was the one thing I found that didn’t reject me for my lack of skill.
As my 50th trip around the Sun was approaching, something in my brain started telling me ‘now or never’. It wasn’t like a warning to get it before it’s too late, but more of a new enlightenment that let me view my place in skateboarding in a whole new way, almost like a re-birth if you want to get silly about it. I had spent my entire 40’s trying to build a legit skateboard brand and give others opportunities they would not have had otherwise. Problem is, too much of my own personal time ended up getting wrapped up in other lives that unfortunately did not bring out the best of myself.
As the big 5-0 approached a lot of natural reflection of ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ came about. It took a road trip in the October 2 months before the big day. Some homies and I booked out to Palm Springs for a quick Yard/Nude Bowl adventure. I clearly remember that the session at the Yard that night was the last time I skated like my former self. The place is huge, I was intimated and pretty much let that experience slip away as far as skating went. Everyone else tore the shit out of that place. The next day we were going to the Nude Bowl, a place I had not skated since the late ’80s. Needless to say, I was pumped. A poor decision at a closing burger joint that night triggered my change in board performance. While everyone slept (or try to sleep) I proceeded to barf my brains out for several hours (ask Ryan for his account). My big sesh at the Nude was fucked. Sick as a dog, no food or anything in my system except for some snacks that Ryan luckily brought along, I was not going to pass this opportunity up. Driving up the hill, I managed to pull my shit together and somehow when we got there the sickness subsided and it was ON. I you say bullshit that there is magic in skateboarding then I call bullshit on you.
From that point on, skateboarding looks different to me. I was able to shed my self-absorbed, self-hating self and just let things flow. I know my limits but manage to squeeze a little more out each time and treat every session like its my last. I am now half way through my 50th tour and have evolved even more since January. I love treating everyone I meet as they are special, I am no stranger to giving deals in my business and happy to hook it up most of the time. What this trip has also taught me is that my friends don’t want a deal, they want to just hang out. With that said, I am shedding some major poundage the next 6 months. My new resolve is not let myself get shit on anymore. Being the nice guy has its disadvantages like some folks like to capitalize on that fact, which is ending as of NOW. There is no time left for that bullshit, there is skateboarding to be done. If I am ever an asshole to you, you deserve it.
Last night at Walter’s Ramp I had one of the best sessions of my life. I carved and grinded my ass off and laughed my ass off with a solid set of like minded skateboarders. Priceless.
I hope these words inspire my other 40+ rippers approaching the half-century mark. I ain’t at the top of the hill yet, but get the fuck out of my way because I’m coming in HOTT!