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Author Topic: Too old to die young  (Read 26035 times)
Stabby_McShiv
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« on: December 08, 2011, 07:52:00 AM »

Maybe it’s my approaching 32nd birthday but I feel compelled to rant/philosophize on a rather annoying question:  Why the fuck is the popular opinion that skateboarding is for kids/young adults and it’s something that you eventually grow out of? 

I have had a ton of interests in my lifetime including but not necessarily limited to: soccer, making shitty art,  football, baseball, weightlifting, building R/C cars, long range rifles, mountain biking, road cycling, water skiing, playing guitar etc.  If I got a wild hare up my ass and picked any of these hobbies back up no one would bat at an eye but for some reason there is a complete bewilderment when people find out that I spend my free time skating.  I just don’t get it.  It’s a fucking rad thing to do, dirt cheap compared to 90% of hobbies, keeps you healthy, happy and keeps your balance honed like nothing else.  So what the fuck is the problem?  Why is the perception that it’s a kid sport?
 
I work at a fairly progressive company and bear no shame in any of this.  There are people at work who do all sorts of crazy shit for fun and I am still considered the wild one.  This is even compared to a good friend who is in his 50s, still rides motocross and builds and learns how to fly experimental aircraft for shits and grins. 
 
It’s frustrating because people don’t know what they are missing.  I have had my fair share of people get seemingly amped up with the whole “I used to skate when I was younger” trip and so I would try to push their stoke a little and let them borrow a complete setup and even offer to let them try out my mini and take them to some noob friendly parks at off hours.  Unfortunately, the result is generally always that I get the board back a couple days later amidst grumbling that “I am too old for this shit…blah…blah”.

I am not one to stress about age as an adage from my old man has always stuck with me “There is no point in pissing and moaning about getting older because it sure as hell beats the other option.” and I guess in the end it doesn’t matter much.  My personality is such that the more someone tells me I can’t or shouldn’t do something the more rewarding it is to do.  Long live the shit eating grin.

Sorry for the long post but I am interested to hear what other people think about the whole deal.
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m477
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 09:43:47 AM »

I think it has to do with two things.  Risk and association.  As people get older most become more and more risk averse.  They probably think "wow skateboarding is really dangerous.... why would you still do it now that you're older? What would happen if you hurt yourself and couldn't work?" Secondly, association. Adults don't want to be associated with "those damned kids".  There's probably more to it to that but I think thats what it boils down to.

That said, it's sure not going to stop me.  I hit 30 earlier this year and I wear it like a badge. I mean, I definitely don't huck myself down stairs or handrails anymore but I push myself to retain my skills and maybe... just maybe learn a new trick here and there Smiley Grow old, not up.
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Stabby_McShiv
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 10:03:12 AM »

I definitely agree that risk adversity has something to do with it.  The irony is that, in my opinion, it's complete bullshit.  Using myself as an example I'll say that these days I have good health insurance and a job that pays me based on what I can do with my brain and not just physical labor.  For me there is essentially no risk outside of dealing with the pain from healing injuries.  From age 15 to about 25 my entire income/livelihood depended on doing remedial, labor intense horseshit for a paycheck and several of those years were spent without health insurance.  Today any emergency room visits runs me about $200 and any physical ailments have little to no impact on my work performance.  This is an important note for all the desk job haters out there who think working in an office entails handing over your freedom and happiness.   

People just need some perspective and in my opinion, if you are not putting your physical body to use doing something that you enjoy than you are just wasting breaths.
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dtotherob
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 04:04:26 PM »

I think it has to do with two things.  Risk and association.  As people get older most become more and more risk averse.  They probably think "wow skateboarding is really dangerous.... why would you still do it now that you're older? What would happen if you hurt yourself and couldn't work?" Secondly, association. Adults don't want to be associated with "those damned kids".  There's probably more to it to that but I think thats what it boils down to.

i would say that this is a fairly accurate assessment.  nice work matt. 

i don't see why it's ok to "still be mountain biking all these years", and not skateboarding.  people are stupid.  skateboarding can only be understood by skateboarders and the like.  no one gets it and they're lost if you try to explain.  i turned 36 last month lol!  i'd say that i'm pretty committed to skateboarding by now.
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Salamander
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 04:34:25 PM »

I hear ya Stabby. I am about 5 months away from 32 myself. All through my twenties I always had to work labor intensive jobs to make a living not always allowing me to have the energy to skate when I got off work. I've been working an office job for the past 7 years now and agree with everything said. Nice health insurance plan, I can actually sit at my desk all day with a bag of ice on my ankle or knee and it doesn't affect my work efficiency at all. Go skating almost every night of the week. I actually tell myself and others that I seem to progress more now than I ever have. Not only that but I seem to want skating more than ever now, as if I didn't have respect for skating and I do now because I can look back and think of all the places it's taken me on trips and tons of good people I've met over the years and now building my own skate spot gives me more satisfaction than I ever would've imagined.
When I turned 30 I felt like my time for skating was running out with maybe 10-15 good years of shredding left and that I had wasted 2-3 years spending money to build my truck for offroading. I thought "shit, I can do that when I'm 75." I know I'm alive when I come to work and can't get rid of the grin on my face because of the killer session I had the night before with all the homies.

Not sure if I just contributed or went on my own rant.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 04:38:52 PM by Salamander » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 12:05:01 AM »

I'm 42 and believe it or not, I've been asked the question as to why I still ride the wooden toy.  lol My answer is always.. "Because  I can." There's really no reason to explain it to anybody.  It's something you have to do yourself that no one except another skateboarder on your level understands. It's a high that is unattainable by the average person. To be honest I don't think most people are secure enough in themselves to be seen doing something that is considered "childish."

I live by the Duane Peters mantra. 100% Skateboarder and 100% Punk Rocker

I've lived long enough to access the things in life that I really love and define who I am as a person. I dig lots of things in life, but when the chips are down, when life is shitty or when life is great, two things are always there. Skateboarding and Punk Rock.  I'm blessed for the both of them.

As Jimmy Thiebaud says #ThankYouSkateboarding
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susej
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 01:51:10 AM »

I'm old. I skate every day, and I'm still getting better. It really doesn't bother me if other people don't "get it" as long as I do.
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Stabby_McShiv
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 07:48:19 AM »


I live by the Duane Peters mantra. 100% Skateboarder and 100% Punk Rocker


That's rad.  I actually speculated before posting that I might be a little overly sensitive at the moment given that I am recovering from a decent concussion that put me in the hospital overnight this past weekend.  The reason this may be relevant is that the concussion was sustained having a little too much fun at a punk show. 

I smell what you're stepping in.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 08:46:36 AM »


I live by the Duane Peters mantra. 100% Skateboarder and 100% Punk Rocker


That's rad.  I actually speculated before posting that I might be a little overly sensitive at the moment given that I am recovering from a decent concussion that put me in the hospital overnight this past weekend.  The reason this may be relevant is that the concussion was sustained having a little too much fun at a punk show. 

I smell what you're stepping in.

Punk Rock injuries are the best.. haha I broke my wrist stage diving at a show when I was 35. Again.. 100% Skateboarder 100% Punk Rocker I make no apologies!  Wink
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dtotherob
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 04:06:06 PM »

words to live by.  your attitude shreds, Chuck.   and sucks about the concussion Stabby. take care of that shit.

i had my nose broken in the pit at some show i barely remember back when i was 16ish.  i'm also getting interesting responses from people when i tell them i'm filling my garage with a ramp, instead of parking there.   

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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 08:21:50 PM »

Worst punk injury was running into the pit and some dude got pushed out and his arms flew up and a caught an elbow and split my lip. So I spit blood the rest of the night.
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"And it's us against a nation of millions, and we can't take them all. But we can take them on."
Stabby_McShiv
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 08:54:54 AM »

...and sucks about the concussion Stabby. take care of that shit.


No worries man, earlier this week my head and sleep patterns were totally fucked but I am good as gold now.  We have had snow on the ground all week so I haven't missed out on much.  The only bummer about the whole deal is that I have absolutely no idea how it happened.  I have a clear recollection of hanging with my friends before the show, the show starting, being all amped up as the band kicked it off and then nothing.  Whatever happened knocked me pretty good though because I was taken to the hospital due to the fact that I couldn't even remember my name, didn't know where I was at etc.  My first clear memory is waking up in a dark hospital room and wondering why the fuck I was there and wanting to kill whoever thought the catheter was a good idea.  Kind of a surreal experience.

Back to the subject...I wonder if a big part of "growing out of it" is mental and a lot less physical.  It seems that as most people get older their minds gradually begin to close and they start slipping into the attitude that they have the world figured out. You can see this pattern everywhere from learning new languages all the way to political views.  This is a pretty natural progression so I don't necessarily fault people for it but creativity and an open mind are critical elements of skating.  Imagine the first time you shred a new park.  If the designers were really creative and put in a ton of unique features (Thanks Team Pain!) or you are eyeballing something that wasn't designed to be skated then a ton of creative thought goes into figuring out how to flow through everything.  Personally, I have a tendency to be overly methodical about things so  forcing myself to let go is huge in terms of challenging myself and forcing the creative side to come out and play.  If people were better able to stay in touch with their creative side then they would be less apt to turn to drugs and alcohol to revisit the feeling as they get older (not to say that you can't have your cake and eat it too). 
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 12:52:20 PM »

Being only 18 this thread may not necessarily be for me, even I have had the conversation with people criticizing me for being too old to play with a skateboard. My Jr. year of high school one teacher asked me why I still rode a skateboard now that I could drive instead. I was so confused by the question because I never thought of skateboarding to be just a means of getting around. I think he was even more confused when I told him it was great because now I was able to drive further away to find places to skateboard. They'll never understand, and that's what makes it so great.
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Teds Wild
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 12:31:16 AM »

My worst punkshow injuries (to maintain the offshoot of this thread) were drinking WAY too much before a show started, puking, passing out for a couple ours, waking up, cleaning up other peoples puke backstage, getting in the pit as the show started, and because it was a halloween show I was dressed as a butterfly (I'm a beautifully winged creature fan) some guy came up to me and straight up purposely punched me right in the face. It didn't hurt so much at the time, but my nose is pretty crooked.

It seems like 30+ skateboarders are really common here in Vancouver. This is awesome: it means better style, better stories and general conversations and more creative ideas of skateboarding. It really isn't overly surprising to see someone 40-50 ripping a park harder than everyone else, and I don't here a lot of "old guys are too old" talk. I guess just don't go to the plaza if you want to maintain this sort of positivity (though Joe Buffalo might be there and he will be killing it harder than anyone younger than him).
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Stabby_McShiv
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2011, 07:27:40 AM »

So you shitfaced passed out backstage in a butterfly costume, woke up, dropped into the pit an got punched in the face?  Whatever injuries resulted from that seem a small price to pay in terms of having a story well worth repeating.

Sounds like a solid little scene you got going there.  Just to clarify, I don't think that the attitude applies to people who actually skate unless they are the blowouts who quit due to external pressure. It's just the rest of the world.  This is pretty easy to work around by just telling the world to fuck off and doing your thing but I figured it was at least worth discussing. 

Now that I think about it some more, I could argue that anything that makes skating less appealing to the masses serves as a natural barrier that keeps skating out of the mainstream, the parks a little less crowded and the kook factor lower.  What the hell am I complaining about.
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