• James Hewlett

Hit The Deck

A couple of weeks ago, on a nice warm evening I was driving home from town and passed the skatepark not far from my house. I glanced over as I was passing and noticed it was empty and I was struck with a sudden urge to go skate. I didn’t let logic run its course, I got home, opened up the cupboard and grabbed the skateboard I’ve had in there... and other cupboards in other houses, for nearly fifteen years, turned around and went straight back to the park.

I rode around for fifteen, twenty minutes, just getting comfortable being back on a board again.

When I lived and worked in town I would quite often ride a longboard and later a little cruiser board through the parks to work, but I hadn’t been on a proper skateboard designed for doing tricks and shit in almost half my life, and even back then I was chunkier than my other skater friends and more interested in filming then actually getting good.

So there I was, skating around, tentatively going up and down a few ramps and just getting more comfortable. I fell a couple of times, but nothing bad or that would stop me getting straight back up again.

I laughed to myself about it and thought that while really cool, it could certainly seem like a midlife crisis type thing, start skateboarding again at aged thirty two!

Who cares though!? I don’t. I had a lot of fun and you know what? I think with where I am in my life now falling down isn’t something I worry about. I don’t care about feeling pain and there’s such a slim chance of me doing something that would cause irreparable damage that I am way more willing to say fuck it and try things that I wouldn’t have before.

The fact that I’m in the best shape of my life helps too! I still worked up a sweat each time I’ve been, because yes, I have been back a couple of times and yes, I do plan to keep doing that, but I feel far more capable that I ever used to. It’s now just a matter of practice.

I keep my board in the back of my car now for whenever I’m passing, it’s a nice evening, it’s dry and it’s empty. And of course I feel like it!

I love having a thing like that that I can do by myself; something to work on improving, something a bit athletic and because at the moment I do only go when there’s no one else around, something I don’t feel any judgement from.

I’m sure no one would, hell they’d probably be nice and helpful, but I don’t want that. I want this to just be mine. For now at least!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention podcaster and all round good dude Josh Flanagan who helped inspire this too. Dudes in his early forties with a family including two young boys but decided, I think for similar reasons as I did, to start skating just for the fuck of it. I talked to him a little bit on Twitter about it and it was really encouraging.

Maybe it is a midlife crisis, but hey, I can’t afford a boat or sports car and I get way more out of this anyway, so fuck it!

#skateboarding #exercise #midlifecrisis #mentalhealth #summertime #hobbies #fitness #history


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