Half Dead? • View topic - Be The Example

Be The Example

Older skaters grew up in a much simpler time, with way fewer options for spending time. A common thread among almost all the stories is the amount of time people spent skating. Fast forward to 2013 and they have every option under the sun - BMX, inline, scooters - how do we as the adult skate community keep the skating dream alive and vibrant for the next generation?

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Be The Example

Postby TheSergeantMajor » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:49 am

I came back to the sport, sorry, lifestyle two years ago at age 38. I abandoned it at age 14. Between those two ages I had three children, deployed to multiple combat zones, numerous physical ailments, and became quite fond of alcohol. While looking for an activity to that would help me bond with my 16yr old son, I purchased a deck in Seoul, Korea for waaaay more than I shouldhave. Day 1 I became re-addicted. But things are different this time. I've approaced the lifestyle a bit differently. I could give two shits who I skate with, when I skate, what I'm wearing, what music is playing, how I look, the excessive amount of protective gear I'm wearing. I skate to enjoy the felling, the accomplishment of learning (and re-learning) a trick, and simply knowing that I can. I often run into kids at the park who can't believe I'm riding and think it's cool, and peers/adults who constantly say things like "You're too old", or "You're gonna get hurt". Truth is, I've sprained both ankles within the last year, endured multiple shin contusions, and various scrapes and bruises. If you can't do what you enjoy, then your soul begins to die. This being said, I'm constantly encouraging kids and adults alike to join me at the park. I've recommended decks, pads, and helped numerous kids who're too afraid to stand on the half pipe, much less ride it. I'm always looking for ways to convince people to do things they normally wouldn't, and the only way to really do that is to show them it can be done. Life is short. Have fun.
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Re: Be The Example

Postby daMADmanwolf » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:01 am

Well Done - the worst is the way kids get so hung up on the image side of things here and will only stay in a corner of the park and play games of SKATE instead of challenging themselves on transition but then they might not look what they call a skater!
I used to arrive at a park with a couple of mates and six-packs etc now I arrive with a broom.
The most enjoyment I do get is when a youngster moves from the corner and does try to skate the transitions or ask after I have done a boneless or cess slide "What the hell is that? and How do you do it?"
It is a shame though that some parents believe a skatepark is a babysitter - I've had to call an ambulance twice and the second time was threatened with a law suit to pay for the costs as they said I should have called them first to check - complete stranger and the kid ( a scooter rider) was knocked unconscious on the coping and lost his front three teeth.
Congrats on getting back on the board and remember it's not bad when you fall but getting up again is a lot more difficult!
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Re: Be The Example

Postby ancientskater » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:09 pm

Hey what's up thesergeantmajor! And daMADmanwolf!
Loved your comments here.
For sure we inspire the youth just by skating. We exemplify "skate and sustain" versus "skate and destroy".
I picked up a board again at 39, am about to turn 40. Also didn't skate since I was a kid, also was immediately addicted. I'm a touring stand-up comic, with way too much access to alcohol. Nowadays instead of even having a casual post show drink or two, I'd rather keep clear for night skating.
I LOVE your positive attitude SergeantMajor, about getting out there and being yourself with not a worry about what you look like, how much protective gear, etc. I could stand to learn from you. I never sweat it about competing for skill with the youth, and that's a huge relief compared to my 'tude when I was a kid winning contests, getting sponsors. I'm just happy to do no complies, manuals and slowly practice other stuff.
However, I wish to adopt your no ego attitude when it comes to pads. Having a hard time with it, I'll admit. That's why I loved your post.
In the ten months or so I've been back on the board I've had quite a few injuries and also basic cuts and bruises. (Also been healthier and happier). My wife insists I wear pads, and so I've been wearing them most of the time. Way too many fights and 3 grand hospital bill for me to just ignore my wife. They certainly have saved my knees and shins and elbows, and for this I'm grateful. However, as someone who skated hard for over ten years as a kid, with serious aversion to pads, I just haven't gotten used to how they look. I feel like a leper. It's been 7 months in pads and I still feel like they are the stupidest things to wear during a session. While learning alone like Mullen, that doesn't bother me.
For this reason - and also an aversion to being in the way and skating in crowds - I mostly skate alone in parking lots just practicing little things. I wear all the pads, they take a beating. I tell my friends that they protect me, but more than that they protect my wife from the reality of what I'm doing. I'll even leave the parking lot when I hear other skaters coming. If I'm wearing pads. Silly, I know.

By staying away from the skate parks and the youth, wearing my big dorky old man pads, I don't think I've been able to really pass it on or inspire the next generation as much. Sure, my nephews get inspired, but that's because I allow them to see my videos.

More than inspiring kids, I find that I inspire my peers whom are anywhere from 25 to 45 years old. I've got lots of 30 year old friends whom thought it was too late to skate, but when they hear me talking about it, they get inspired to go out and skate. A few buddies even bought boards. I hope to eventually learn to accept the reality that I'm am older skater and that the pads aren't a horrible demeaning sign of lameness.
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