I was 18 years old, just sold my beloved moped and I didn’t know what to do in life. Unemployed, never graduated and just started a YouTube-Channel.
A post by “Suicidal Tendencies” popped up on Facebook. They would come to a skate shop in Berlin, for a meet and greet. Though I live in Germany, Berlin is pretty much at the other end of the country. Comparing hotel and possible travel prices, I figured, that the money I’ve made from selling my moped, was enough, as my demands for a hotel aren’t extraordinary. I even had some money leftover. From the latter, I chose to buy something that I was considering for a while. A modern-day old school shaped deck. The “Welcome Banshee 90”-Deck was about to be mine.
The Trip to Berlin
I woke up extremely early because it takes quite some time to get from Mannheim to Berlin. Roughly eight hours of sitting on a bus ride were wearing my butt down. Arriving in Berlin, I had no clue where to go, it wasn’t my first time there, but I had to use my phone for navigation regularly. Skating through the City made my bags heavier with each push. I could’ve just used the subway for transportation. However, I decided otherwise. This decision was resulting in me, skating through most of the capital of Germany. After roughly two hours of nonstop cruising, I felt tired and concluded that I need to hurry. One last look at the “Maps” app on my phone told me that I was quite close. Then the phone battery died on me. I continued to roll down the roads I vaguely remembered, but I felt lost. Luckily there are quite a few people in the streets of Berlin, so you can always ask for directions. I asked a lady, if she could help me out, and responded with a giggle, then pointed her finger at the sky in front of me. Looking up, I faced a somewhat large building with the hotel logo on top.
The first thing that I did, once I checked in and went into my room, was to plug my phone charger into the wall, and call my mom, to tell her, I was alright. I always do that, because I know that she’s worried, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re on tour. For dinner, I decided to go to some generic, nearby fast food place, but also found a skatepark, which was approximately five minutes away from my hotel.
The Next Day.
After waking up, I decided to check out the city without my board at first. Followingly, I was having breakfast at “Dunkin’ Donuts,” and was sauntering around for a bit. Then, I went back to the hotel, grabbed my board and camera, and went to the earlier mentioned nearby skatepark.
One quick filming session later, I was heading to the “meet&greet.” Minutes into Berlin, I arrived at the event location. A skate-shop, that has a mini-bowl inside, ready to be shredded. Someone was sitting on the side of the pool; he looked like he was here to skate, and was just taking a break right now. Usually I am not the type of person to start a conversation, but in this case, I did. Few minutes into the conversation we decided to shoot some pics of him in the bowl.
After we got some shots, we sat on a bench outside of the shop waiting for the band. Apparently, he didn’t even know about the event and was just here coincidentally.
There I saw a Van coming, it had the shops logo on the side, and I recognized a very familiar face sitting inside, wearing a bandana. It was Mike Muir, singer, and songwriter of “Suicidal Tendencies.”
Back then, I was engulfed by loneliness most of the time, which was one of the reasons, why I started my YouTube-Channel. Always skating alone, not feeling the same type of joy I’ve had before. Recording myself, just to share my skating on the web, helped me get through a severe stage of my life. Approximately a month before this very trip, I’ve experienced a loss in my family, someone who was a part of my daily life. It was hard; I didn’t know how to process it.
Mike’s lyrics often felt like they were written right out of my thoughts, it made me realize that I wasn’t alone. I could relate to his music more than I could, to anything else and it helped me through a lot of downtimes and depressive phases in my life. For that, I wanted to thank Muir personally, and I did. I’ve also asked him for a photo, but the first selfie was so shaky, that you couldn’t tell what’s what. Come on! He’s a legend! Don’t tell me that you could stay calm in a situation like that, haha.
The Rest of the Day
After the event, the guy that I met at the bowl, and I, decided to skate together for the rest of the day. We went to a fast food restaurant, talked for a while and then, introduced ourselves. Damian was his name, later, we sent each other facebook-friend-requests, and we chose to skate the park near the “Heidelberger Platz.” Time has passed, and he had to leave, so we spoke some last words, then he went. I’d like to take this opportunity to show you how good of a skateboarder Damian is, and what type of projects he’s involved in. Many people say they’d like to travel and skate, but Damian is one of those people that just do it.
A few hours later, I went to the hotel bar, drank a beer or two, and tried to comprehend the fact that I met Mike Muir. I tried, but even today, I still don’t believe it.
What It Means
Years have passed, and my life has progressed rapidly since that very day. That same summer, so many crazy things have happened; For the first time, I’ve come to know what this little thing called “love” was all about, got a job, an apprenticeship and was finally no longer reliant on my parent’s finances. Making a trip like this on my own; from planning, all the way, to the actual traveling, showed me; that I am the only person holding me back from pursuing my dreams. I alone am the person that is reliable for my happiness, and all I need, to make things happen is me, my willpower, and the guts, I way too often seem to lose.
The Welcome Banshee 90 wasn’t just by my side on one of my most important days, it also changed the way I skate. I was getting into so-called old school tricks right before I bought it, though there was something about this deck, that made me want to use my hands for tricks. Today, the Boneless is, what people consider to be, my signature maneuver. Heck, I even dated someone with this deck by my side. My life wouldn’t be the same, without the moments, that this board accompanied me through.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap, of thinking, you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs