Just last week, I was sitting across from my therapist, going through the many regrets in my life. I guess relishing in my inglorious past is supposed to boost self-improvement or something, but digging up my many failures didn’t do much for my mood. But that’s not the real problem.
The thing I cling to and think about every waking second since the therapist’s door closed behind me is the look of smug condescension I received when I revealed my most great regret of all. I don’t regret becoming the greatest tattoo journalist on the planet, or being the most humble human to walk this Earth. What I regret is deeper than all that, much more existential. The kind of thing that shakes a human to their core every time they consider the subject. What is your question?
I regret never having been able to skate.
Growing up, it was the only thing I wanted to do…and I couldn’t learn no matter how many hours I put into it. It wasn’t that I wanted to hit the half pipe and take out a sick Christ Air at the Rune Glifberg, no my expectations were much lower than that. I wanted to go in a straight line for more than 20 meters without falling on my ass. And despite hours and hours of practice, I never really mastered this incredibly simple task. My balance was never spectacular, or really usable to be honest, so I don’t know why I ever imagined that I would be able to skate. But I liked punk rock. I liked the cool graphics. I played Skate or Die and Tony Hawk Pro Skater for hours. Plus, all my friends were skating. I told myself that with enough effort, I would be able to learn.
It took me years to finally admit that it would never happen. I would put the board away for years in a row, then something would reignite my urge to skate and I would put in another few weeks of serious effort. In the end, all I had to show was a phenomenal bruise that ran down my back from my wallet chain (I know) in which you could see the individual links.
There was a time when I accidentally landed a kickflip. And by “succeeding a kickflip” what I really mean is that I started to lose my balance, I did something weird with my heel where the board tipped over while I was jumping, then I landed on it for a split second before falling on my ass. This shouldn’t be the only culmination of decades of trying to learn a skill, but it’s all I have.
Wait…did I just have a breakthrough? I think I did. I’m done with therapy, I’m just going to fix all my problems here. Thanks for listening, and now the reason you’re here: some rad skater tattoo shit.