I can't quit you.
I have more and more venues every day to go play all around the world, but more importantly in my hometown, in my own neighborhood. I have old friends and new friends that just want to hang out and skate with me, and give me hell when I make the decision to NOT skate and instead focus some attention towards aforementioned responsibilities. I am blessed.
Nothing else makes me feel the way skating does. Skating, talking about it, reading about it, writing about it, and sitting on the couch watching it. If time is all you consider, I am a veteran. I've been doing it for most of my life. Longer than most people doing it have been alive. But I am insignificant to the industry, but not to my friends. I am a part of the core of skating. Not the "hardcore," I don't kid myself. I tend to wuss out, and I skate fully padded, even on ramps I should be 100% comfortable on. I'm not a gnarly man but I know what gnar is.
I've been enjoying weekly sessions on Radley's ramp. Gettin' my gnar on the best I can, but getting more stoked on everyone else's gnar. So I was already extra hyped on skating lately. But I was watching the X-Games MegaRamp competition tonight, and skating again inspired me. Not to skate, not to live better, not to give more of shit about anything. It was simply awe inspiring.
I know who Danny Way is. I knew who Danny Way was when he was shorter, skinnier, and riding for a company called Powell Peralta. I was watching when he helped make a company called H-Street a powerhouse in the industry. I think he was 13 or 14. And that was 20 years ago.
On a monstrosity that rises 60' off the floor of the Staples Center in LA, rolling down and launching over a 70' gap, and into a landing ramp that leads to a 30' quarter pipe, I watched footage of Danny getting worked in practice. Beat up and slammed into the ramp by gravity over and over. The MegaRamp. Birthed from his own mind. This thing has tried to destroy its creator time and time again over the years. I watched him clip the coping with both shins after under rotating a 20' McTwist, and getting flipped and body slammed 20' further onto his back, and slide to the flat in obvious pain. The man got up, limped off the ramp, refused the wheelchair ride to the medic room, is told not to skate any further, tells the doc he'll have to fight him to keep him from it, and declares "I'm skating EVERY run."
4 more runs, insane pain, and insane skating. And he has an X-Games medal. And that's just Danny.
If you didn't watch it and if you don't skate, I've just bored the shit out of you with this recount. And you don't get it. You're not inspired. You don't comprehend how difficult a 360 air to fakie really is, particularly 50' from the floor. You don't get why Bob Burnquist was in tears as Danny congratulated HIM for winning the GOLD medal, with Danny taking home the silver. You don't understand that emotion. That determination. Relying on no one but yourself. Feeding off the stoke of others, but your performance is up to you and you alone. If you skate, you know. But I'm sad for you if you didn't witness it. I'm sad that so many pedestrians saw it, but just can't possibly understand. I wish they could.
Skateboarding, I love you. And I'm not sorry. Hey pedestrians, your sport sucks. Don't believe me? Just hush and watch.