Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind

Thanks for the Curse

I lived a tough life growing up, tough and rough. My parents took good care of me for what it was worth, but when I was out doin’ my thing, I was always getting into trouble. I was wild and hardcore, and loved every minute of it. I actually made a $20 bet with someone that I wouldn’t live to see 20 years old, which I lost. There were a lot of amazing, crazy and chaotic moments that are major memories etched into my brain, some that i regret but most that I’m glad happened. The way I always look back at it, the bad things that happen to you are what really influence your mentality the most. Without the bad things you don’t know what life is really about. I’m glad I grew up with freedom to learn on my own, and wasn’t babied or sheltered to believe that we control life and only good things ever happen. A big part of what makes me the man I became in life was the Curse I lived with for many, many years – The Thanksgiving Curse. Don’t ask me why it happened, or why I deserved it – I’m sure there were many people I was mean to in my younger years and one of them must have been a gypsy or a witch or something, but either way, I had the curse…

Every year around Thankgiving, up to 2 weeks before or after, I would get hurt, usually good enough to be rushed to the hospital. It started on Thanksgiving Monday in 1995. We were skating this drop gap at the CIBC that you could only skate on a Holiday and I was killing it all day. I was with Clayton Holmes and Malcolm O’Connor and Malcolm wanted to film a line so I was just fuckin’ around in the back of the Bank parking lot and completely dislocated my elbow riding off the 4 stair. Like what? Of all the big gaps and crazy tricks we would do all the time, how the hell did I do this? The worst part was when it happened, I jumped up and shook my arm in pain, locking the bones back together in reversed position – so my forearm was stuck turned completely over facing up when it should be facing down. I grabbed Clay and we hopped in the car and went to the Emergency Room. They left me there, I got it fixed and walked home.

The next year I was working for Manpower Temporary Services and they would send me out to these Factories. I got hooked up with this super easy job sanding the pitts out of these Car Rims for Volkswagen and it was going to last for 3 weeks at $23 an hour. I was stoked. The first day was right before the long weekend of Thanksgiving and that night we went out skating. I was getting tons of footage when once again I got burned on this tiny 5 stair rail at the Zellers. I landed and twisted my foot right around 180 degrees and it sounded disgusting. I thought for sure that my ankle had broke but somehow according to the X-rays the bones were all good, just everything else was completely destroyed. I was on crutches and a cane for almost 2 1/2 months, and obviously didn’t get to make all that money that I was stoked for.

Year 3, you’d figure I might be scared but hadn’t really realized yet that this was going to be an annual ritual. The snowboarding season started early and Thanksgiving was late in the year. We were riding some serious sized Tombstones in the halfpipe area at Snow Valley and of course I was annihilating it. I hit this gap into the halfpipe that was super weird and backside 720’d it. I was telling Carrie’s brother Doug Williams about it and he didn’t believe me, so I did it again. As I was riding away I was pointing back at him laughing about it and caught my edge on the runway groove for the tombstone flipping me over hard and landed with my hand in the snow and my elbow jabbed into my side right between my ribs and hip. I was down for a long time and people helped me out of the pipe. I sat around for a while, had a smoke or two, and then strapped back in. It was a weird pain that I had never felt before but i just shook it off. I hopped up, called “Snake” and dropped in busting a big McTwist off one of the Tombstones. I rode for a bit but wasn’t that into it anymore so we left. About 4 hours later I was lying on the couch and had a strange urge to piss. I tried getting up and couldn’t. Luckily I lived at me parents still and called them downstairs to help me. I got to the bathroom and pissed a lot of blood out. Carrie came over right away and rushed me down to the Hospital. I barely made it to the front counter in Emergency and they asked me what was wrong. I answered in a tiny voice, “I think I’m dying”, and I fell on the floor. They rushed me in fast. Some X-rays, a little Ultrasound, and a whole lot of questions and they finally had some answers, I had a bleeding kidney and a bruised spleen. If my spleen decided to burst, it would have to come out right away, I was told. So they hooked me up with some drugs and sent me home telling me to be very cautious and not to engage in any physical activity for 2-3 weeks. Luckily, my spleen didn’t burst, and I survived. I was now realizing that i had this Cursed Curse

Almost all my biggest injuries have come around Thansgiving: these 3 of course, fractured each foot separately, tore everything in my wrist, torn MCL, Herniated Disc and Sciatic Nerve damage, cracked ribs, a huge hole in my leg, and many other life changing experiences. Some just call this the Life of a Skateboarder, but isn’t it strange that all the big ones happen at the same time of year?

So for this I always avoid skateboarding around Thansgiving, especially on the long weekend itself, but I proudly say Thank You for all this pain that I have been given, for these injuries are what helped me find myself, they are what made me so strong in life, and they are what built the man you see today.

I might not be able to walk properly, or stand up straight, or breathe easily all the time, but I’m still alive, standing strong in front of you.

Now tell me who I should thank for that…

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