You’ve been derailed before. I read about it somewhere; I’m almost sure of it. A bomb fell, a hard drive ate itself, a late fee was assessed, a plane didn’t stop and instead skidded, and the tracks were jumped. Everyone saw it, and it hurt, but they said, “Nice fall.” And you got up and got out.
No one knows why (though many pretend to), but the instinct to shrug and keep going is sometimes the only thing between moving on to new successes and sitting outside of Rite Aid with a Dixie cup, shivering, and hoping for spare assistance.
Skateboarding may have even been the thing to heave you from your tracks, sending you head first into any number of worldly ouchies. But forgetting about what got you to this point with all its overwhelming dullness, and tediousness, and struggles that you try to blame others for may indeed be a larger hardship than your current hard times.
She’s a brutal mistress, this sporting life, but so what? Want to trade? Want to go back? Want to opt out? Want to swap debts for ache? Want to give up your place in line and instead listen to help desk hold music on a borrowed cell phone?
The grass is always browner.
No. Probably not.
This is not advice, though. This is not a motivational tirade. For all I know, I might just be trying to convince myself.
Maybe I should start with something easier. Gain my trust. Then move forward.
Yes. I can see where you’re coming from.
Statistically, the good comes with the bad.
I’ll buy that.
Numbers and facts aside, once something good is happening—something really good—doesn’t it seem like more good things follow?
Yeah, I guess so.
Okay, so find some smooth ground and roll over it, ollie that can, grind something with texture, and bask in your own momentum.
Brad Bowman. Photo: Jim Goodrich
Play well with the others? Then find a session and be a part of it—falls are softer, funnier, almost a relief, and the simple reality of living mid-pack feels sweet.
We aren’t heroes, we aren’t the best, we aren’t the born winners, but we’re also not begging for attention, under constant scrutiny, or cartoon jokes of real people.
Mike Smith. Photo: Grant Brittain
Right where we are—sitting in a mound under a seven-stair, crumpled in the bottom of a pool, or nursing a black ankle atop the cushions of a couch—is where we’ll find the muscle behind the instinct to get back on the train. And that muscle will tear eventually. Again and again. It’ll bleed. Taste terrible.
Fuck it, though.
Tony Alva. Photo: Jim Goodrich
Send us in the direction of the next few minutes, the next train wreck, the next embarrassment.
We’ll figure it out as it comes to us, or after the mistakes, or whatever. Please, let’s just keep on getting up and keep on getting out. No one needs to know why.
Though many will pretend to.