Ten Years Ago

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Today as of writing this, marks not just my 21st anniversary of being alive, but I also received my first skateboard on this very date, ten years ago. Several weeks before I could call myself a “skateboard-owner,” I watched a show on Nickelodeon, where kids were skating and having a fun time. My birthday got closer, and my mother asked me what I’d want as a present. My mind went to the previously mentioned boys who were skateboarding on TV. “I want a skateboard!”, Was what I instantly answered. I still remember my mother giving me a confused look on her face while asking, “Why a skateboard all of a sudden?”

The Beginning

It’s the 8th of October 2007. I woke up; breakfast was made, mom, dad and my sister wished me a happy birthday. I unwrapped some presents that I vaguely remember. Fifa 2008 for PlayStation 2 was in the mix, as well as the long-awaited skateboard. The board itself was a 30€ complete bought from “Real.” (The German equivalent of a Walmart or Target.) I was as happy as an eleven-year-old kid could be! The skateboard was (as to expect) of terrible quality, but that did not bug me since I didn’t know any better. I took the skateboard out to the balcony and pushed myself back and forth. My younger self enjoyed it already more than expected and couldn’t wait to take it to the street.

It Was Meant to Be

Few weeks have passed and thanks to the internet, I was able to find out that the first trick I should learn was called an “Ollie.” Unfortunately, the world wide web was way different than it is now. You weren’t able to discover tonnes of “How to Ollie”-videos on YouTube, so I went on Google trying to find something useful. Unluckily, the guidance that I observed on Wikipedia wasn’t distinct enough for me to work out. A couple of days later, a friend and I went to our local basketball court. This place was our hang-out spot. I decided to bring the board with me for the first time.

As we got closer the court, we’ve noticed this one guy. I’ve never seen him before. He stood up and stepped on something that I didn’t discern at first, due to the limited visibility. I caught the noise of a skateboard, and that’s when I realized that he was skating there. How come, that we visit this place almost every day and have never seen a skater, but once I decide to take my board with me, there all of a sudden is one? He promptly noticed that I carried a skateboard. Without speaking anything, and being the shy kid that I was, I stepped on my deck and tried to ollie. As my attempts weren’t even close to what people call a trick, this skateboarder approached and guided me. Then he demonstrated how he’s doing an ollie. His jump elevated to the height of his hips.

He continued to explain the ollie step by step. After a while, what felt like seconds, apparently were hours, I ultimately managed to lift all four wheels off the ground, marking my first ever executed trick. He continued to encourage me while doing fancy flip tricks himself. Another hour or two has passed, it was starting to get dark, he checked the time on his watch, and followingly said, that he has to leave now. As he packed his bag and right before the process of skating away, he said, “and when we meet again, I want you to impress me with your ollies!”

Never have we met again and I am not a person to believe in something spiritual, but if the story above never happened, I probably wouldn’t skate today. Meeting him on that day changed my life and opened a path I never knew existed. It was meant to be.

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