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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Built to Grind

Since the age of nine, skateboarding has been a huge part of my life.  Growing up in a small town in the early eighties, street skating as we now know it was just starting to creep into the upper midwest.  In Neillsville, there were a few guys older than my circle of friends, literally three dudes, doing jump ramps and skating parking blocks.  Those three guys, along with myself and four or five of my friends, were the first generation of street skaters in town.  We were into BMX as well, but the skateboarding culture ended up dominating our psyche.  Those older guys were bad asses, and I will never forget the few occasions that they let us hang out with them.  They taught us correct attitude and style, how to properly do your thing, how to party.  Skating has always influenced the way that I see the world, just as a football enthusiast may look at life as a game that can be won, I see life as a series of transitions, that I hope to ride out in the best style possible.  Of course there are also all of the metaphors; balance, consistency, and power.  The times in my life that I skated the most, were the best, most creative and positive times I've known, and when I wasn't skating at all, were the times I was falling off in life in the worst way.  I'm now thirty five, and I've graduated to simply cruising down hills in the warm seasons.  This year I broke my knee, a tibial plateau fracture, I basically broke the top half of my right leg away from the bottom half.  The recovery has been long and tedious, and initially I felt really lame about getting sidetracked in life by hurting myself on a skateboard, but later I realized that there probably wasn't a better way to get hurt.  I can't wait to go back to the top of that hill this spring, and ride it out properly.  Skating, music, and art keep me young, and as far as I can tell, keeping a youthful perspective on things is the key to happiness.

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