It’s funny how when you’re growing up as a kid and everyone always asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most kids answer with the usual response of a Fireman, a Policeman, a Chef, a Teacher, or some other profession that they read about as toddlers. No one ever says “I wanna be a crazy skateboarder with a head overflowing with amazing memories from all the ridiculous things I’ve done in my life…” But that’s totally where we all end up!
When you choose the roads to travel you always try to plan ahead, but no matter what plan you make there will come times where many paths will be visible and you have to just choose one. These could be long paths that never end or short detours which come back to the original but either way, think hard before you make that choice. In my life I always try to choose 2 or 3 paths at once and try and get them to combine into one big wide one.
In my 28th year of skateboarding I have definitely made some history, and helped to change the world in many ways, positive and negative. Think about this – if you were a skateboarder in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then you helped to create skate stoppers just by street skating before there was an abundance of skate parks. And now because of us, architectural designers and engineers have to consider new formations of ledges, benches, designs of stairways and so on. It’s hilarious to drive down the street and see every building that has been built “Unskateable”. Why, because all of us kids that wanted to be Doctors and Lawyers grew up skateboarding and had fun. And then there are positive changes that we have made like creating acceptance for any person, not just the ones that are good enough to make “The Team”. Team sports are tough on kids, they are high demand, filled with lots of rules, and the coaches try and run your life sometimes. When a kid finds skateboarding, they find their Freedom, and learn that there are no limits. You can just be who you are and go skate. That’s a positive change in the world.
I look back at my childhood and I was always a really happy kid, even if I was getting bullied for being myself and dressing different than anyone else. I went through crazy times as a teenager, but that’s where most of my favourite memories exist, and as an adult it has just been one big whirlwind of meeting new people and creating new ventures.
So when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I was just a little kid, I answered a teacher. And I think that without going to University, and without following the system to a tee, and without bowing down to the man, I have been one of the best teachers this world has ever seen. And when I turn 35 years old this November, and someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m gonna tell them the truth –
I preach for Freedom
I teach Reality
I push for Unity
and I skateboard…