So, today I did something that I haven't done in a long, long time.
I hopped a fence.
Not some tiny little 4' high fence either. I'm talking a legit fence! (see pic above)
I wish I could say I did it gracefully though, but I just wanted to give a quick shout out to all the skaters out there still hopping fences for the cause. Only because I think I have officially retired, again, from hopping fences.
Before today, if you asked me the last time I had hopped a fence I would have no clue. It's been so long that the muscles that I used to do such a task were (and still are) screaming at me. Hopping a fence is no joke and should only be done by seasoned professionals. And the funny thing is, my fence hopping today had nothing to do with skateboarding. Not one bit. There was no benefit for me other than getting my hoodie and HP blanket that was left behind after my son's soccer practice this morning. That's it!
With that being said, I will now forever remember this day. I will remember getting home and asking my kids if they remembered to pick up my hoodie and the blanket my daughter used to hang out on. They both looked at me and said, "No". I knew right then and there just what had to be done. And I'm the type that if something like this comes up I go and handle it right away. No way in hell am I going to let this wait. I needed to go get our stuff now, before someone takes it!
I remember telling my wife that I'd be back. She replied with, "Do you want us to come?"
I said, "Nope. I've got this. Just need to hop the fence real quick."
I had no idea what I was in for. I thought it would be so easy. You know, like riding a bike, or in our case, a skateboard. I'd just hop on over, grab the two items, and then HOP back over. Easy.
Upon arrival, I did a quick stroll past the main gate. It was locked. We had been the last soccer group to leave so that was no shock to me. I was hoping for some sort of miracle or something. It was all good in my mind though. So I walked back towards where the two items were as they hadn't moved at all --- sitting in the nice sun on the bottom of the bleachers.
So, I did what most 40+ year olds do, I positioned myself directly behind my target, made sure to look left and then right. I obviously didn't want anyone to see me, just in case I did some AFV worthy footage, so I had to wait for a cyclist to pass.
Once he zipped by I placed my hands on top of the fence and jumped up as if to position my belly on top of the fence. However, once I tried to put my foot in one of those damn chain link fence holes, my shoes slipped out and down and I did as well, just barely escaping getting impaled.
My arms instantly buckled as well. I felt defeated. I had attempted to use some muscles that have been sleeping for quite some time and the fact that I chose a wobbly section of the fence wasn't helping either. I tried again, using even more energy to make it up and over, but had no luck. Slipped again!
It was at this point when I seriously considered getting back in the car and calling it quits. I was perfectly fine pulling up to my house empty-handed. I didn't care. But then the skater in me kicked in. No way in hell am I going to let this fence defeat me. I needed to get over that fence and right at that very moment when my "fight or flight" adrenaline kicked in.
I looked left, then right, placed my hands on the top of the fence and gave it one last shot. I got up. I was half-way there! I then finished the deed and didn't even get my adidas sweat pants caught. I was on the other side!
My first thought was, "Oh, shit. No way in hell will I be able to get back. What the hell do I do now?". I almost had a mini panic attack. I was going to be that guy getting busted for hopping a fence for a hoodie. At least it could have been for something like skateboarding. You know?
But, much like in the movies, there is always someone or something that the protagonist stumbles upon to help them face the dragon in Act 3. For me, that was a small metal container by the main gate. It was my out! All I needed to do was get on top of that, which still took some effort as my arms were like wet noodles at this point. I also had extra protection to get over the chain link fence too -- my blanket.
I placed the blanket at the top of the fence and proceeded to climb and roll over the fence one last ( and I do mean last) time. I was free. It kind of reminded me of that scene in Shawshank. It was such an amazing moment. Felt as if I finally landed a trick that I had been battling for hours.
However, I still had one more thing to do. Drive home with noodle arms.
So, like I said earlier, shout out to tall the fence hoppers out there still doing it for the cause. I don't think I need to do that again, ever. When was the last time you hopped a fence? Should there be an age restriction? Do you think I will be able to still hop fences at 60? I know skaters like Brandon Turner will be able to.
Next time I will just swing by Home Depot and purchase bolt cutters.
Pic via Circle-A's Instagram
Well, it appears that my local was hit by a smash and grab today.
Nothing pisses me off more than seeing this. And I'm sure I am not alone.
My first question is always, "Why?"
Why would you do that to any independent or small business? Why would you put their future in jeopardy for some boards, shoes, sweatshirts, etc.? Why would you risk serving jail time for some wheels and trucks?
Skate shops are hit especially hard from smash and grabs because their profit margins are already slim-to-none. I've had so many great experiences and met so many cool peeps at my local shops over the years. They also provide access to gear and merchandise that some members of the community might not have access to (internet, etc.).
So, once again, I ask, "Why?"
Do the individuals (punks) doing these kind of things just not give a shit about anyone but themselves? I'm pretty sure I can answer that.
Nevertheless, one benefit to living in 2021 is that by now most businesses are able to afford great security cameras and a rather decent price. I can't wait to see and share the footage and/or pics when they are available.
Circle-A Skateboards has been around since 1997 and I'll be damned if some punks are going take our little shop away. If you know any information or anything that could lead to finding out the culprits behind this latest crime please reach out to me or Bob at Circle-A. (408) 995-0677.
Also, if you have a local skate shop that has been hit recently drop their info below so we can help spread the word (either on this blog or my podcast).
I thank you in advance.
Skateboarding changed my life.