Taking the Plunge

Back when I was kid I used to skateboard. I was pretty good at it too. I started in 7th grade and quit after an injury about 5 years later. I was watching a documentary on a skater on IFC the other night, and there was a scene where a grom (young kid) was dropping in to a dork ramp for the first time. He ate it. Lol. EVERYONE bails their first drop in. That’s why everyone stops and let’s a noob drop in. It’s a right of passage. The first time I dropped in I bailed and of course everyone laughed. I finally nailed it on my third try. I was decent on a do….oh- sorry. A dork ramp is simply a ramp without any vertical. It can be 4 feet tall, it can be 6 feet tall. It’s also called a quarter-pipe. Anything with vertical is typically called a half-pipe. Well, eventually I made friends with this guy Iggy who owned the legendary “Monsoon Ramp”. It was 10 foot of transition (the curved part) and 2 feet of vertical. The thing was a fucking BEAST. Only the the elite rode Monsoon. I used to watch contests from Iggy’s bedroom window. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to skate it. Once I was able to compress to the coping (the metal pipe placed on the edge of the ramp), I was told I needed to drop in. Well, Monsoon had a channel, which allows you to roll into the ramp without dropping in. After I was comfy with rolling in I was ORDERED to drop in. Now, I wore a helmet, and knee/elbow pads for Monsoon (you kind of have to with big ramps), and stepped up to drop in. I had EVERY big name skater in the tribe watch my freshman ass about to fall and go owwie. My heart was fucking pounding as I looked down at the drop. Iggy leaned over and said, “Dude just go. You’re going to eat it. It’s ok. But the longer you stare at it, the worse it gets.” I held my breath, said a quick prayer, and dropped in.

I went careening onto a death roll down half the ramp. The backyard erupted in laughter and cheers. I got up, Iggy asked if I were ok, and told me to come up and try again.

As I climbed up the massive ramp, a few guys took runs and skated until I got ready. I set my board and again….DEAD SILENCE. I took a breath and dropped in and…….I made it. I rolled up the opposing transition and all I could hear was cheering and boards being pounded onto the ramp (it’s how skaters clap) as I 50-50 the other side.

I had done it. I slayed the dragon.

I never really realized how important the lesson I learned from that day until recently. But it taught me a lesson no one can teach you, that you have to stare down and battle against. And it’s a beast that can kill and consume you if you don’t slay it early.

Self-doubt. NOTHING is impossible. NOTHING is unattainable. It may come at a cost. It might hurt, but I CAN be done. On that day I made a profound transformation and I was only 13-14 at the time. I had earned a place among the tribe. I “rode the Monsoon” and it wasn’t something a lot of people would even attempt. It didn’t matter if I rode well and couldn’t do a ton of tricks, I dropped in, and skated it.

The guy that taught me to surf said he only rode a big wave once- In Hawaii. Said he paddled out, got into the line-up and when the locals let him surf he took a wave. Said he had a about a 6-7 second ride and he paddle back in. Said that was it for him. He can say he big-wave surfed- and it scared the hell out him. I told him this story and he laughed and said it made perfect sense.

It’s unfortunate that men really don’t experience moments like this anymore. There’s no rite of passage, nothing. And as men, we NEED it. Now I realize why boot-camp was such a joke for me. There was no breaking me. I didn’t need to be tested to find out my limits.

I was already battle tested.

I’m started therapy for my insane mood swings and the Doc wants me to keep a journal. I told him about the blog and said it would suffice. So I guess you readers get to experience my psycho-therapy. I’ve already had my initial visit with him and he’s a VERY cool guy. We went over what I think is bothering me and it all comes down to one thing: I’m burnt out on the Navy.

Thank God I have just over a year left.

I’d also like to offer a prayer for TV Munson’s passing, and keep Dogsquat in your thoughts as he works in a very hazardous and dangerous job site at the moment.

the blogger as a young skater ripping the Monsoon. circa 1990-91.

so young, so angry. me as a freshman, right after a haircut. lol.


24 Comments on “Taking the Plunge”

  1. Looking Glass says:

    You know, you’re really actively blogging while on your break. 🙂

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Well it is kind of cathartic. And I didn’t plan on posting until I saw the documentary.

      Part of my “therapy” is to have a journal. So I’ll be blogging more personal stuff and maybe have the readers a bit of what it’s like to have PTSD.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Infantry says:

    Hey Mate,

    I’ve been lurking your blog for about a year and I’ve really enjoyed it. I just thought I’d chime in and say its pretty gutsy to talk about some of the stuff you’re going through.

    Stay up.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      I’m friend IRL with a few bloggers. I know their identities and all. Some I talk with on the phone, others in email. One said blogger asked if I thought it was wise to post my therapy.

      Since you’ve been reading for about a year you probably know how I posted about my being sexually molested as a child. So posting about psychotherapy is a “whatev” for me. I’ve never lived behind my secrets.

      Thanks for the well-wishes and readership.

      Cheers Mate

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. rojobag says:

    I have to tell you man, aside from wishing you the best in your therapeutic endeavors, (and as a cat holding in 20+ years of shrink time, I also wish you the best, it’s hard.) I loved this fucking post.

    I recall myself, an avid skater from the grade of 5. I can’t recall ages. I do remember the first time I dropped in a ramp with vert. I grew up skating street, only a single cement skatepark prepared me for skating a ramp. I skated those concrete runs in the rain and the sun, no matter the risk, I dove it and learned because of those moves. Transition another 3 years, I’m 13 and in Sacramento. We are skating the Daily Grind. It’s an epic park from the origins of carve and grind here in Cali. I skated the street joint and the little 6 footer for most of the day. Come afternoon when we’re spent, I hit the 8′ (I think, if not it’s bigger) bowl. It has about 6″ of vert right at the top, way out of my know how.I get my balls under my ass and drop in. I eat shit as soon as I hit that flat bottom, my knee pad slips back, I have a numb spot on my right knee. It still exists to this day. I hit again about 15 minutes later. Letting all the sag of the day slip in, infiltrating my bones and tendons, I hit it again, and ride that shit out. That was my first meeting with vert. We always had it on the crazy empty pools, but we were never balls enough out to hit that. We passed. Now I wish we had tried. It would have proved something. Anyhow, I was pretty fucking good at street, but I blew my ankle out when I was 20 and I couldn’t skate shit like i used to. You know how skating the street is unforgiving, same with ramps, but at least you have the pads, if your smart, with the ramps, I still roll to a park nearby and carve until my ankle tells me to go fuck myself. I love it. I have never ever in my left felt more like I am flying, than when I am 10 minds deep inside a skate session and catching air all over the fucking place.

    I miss that feeling. Amazing sex is great, playing on stage in front of a good crowd is rad, but the feeling of defying gravity for a few seconds is unparalleled. It’s like losing all feeling of muscle, self and air, it’s all gone and up the stars, will I hit the board right on my way down? Better commit to that shit, or it’s going to be your ass.\

    I liken it to an approach. I used to liken it to a relationship. Like I had to commit to find out if I wanted to ride it out. So prior red pill, I was confused. I thought I had to give my commitment in order to figure out if I was down. Supplicating, insipid attitude. Now I liken the approach to that of a skate trick. I must either commit to trying my communication with the board and my environment if I am to fully engage my target. If it’s a bust, I bail. There ain’t no riding away with your knees or ankles in tact if that attempt isn’t on point. Thus is the rules of the game.

    I wish I could skate like i used to, I wish I could jump those stairs, or take that drop without worrying if I will be able to walk the next shift.

    I have a shitty diagnosis from the MH zone in my healthcare system. Soemthing about bipolar disorder II with psychosis. If these are the lines my health care is going to draw, then they have a fighter, because fuck that. I am as legit as it gets. Take me at my word, even if it sounds absurd. (if you can name what I did there, you got a bff for deep son.)

    Anyhow, I hope this comment isn’t too off the wall to entertain the ideals involved in this post. I have learned so much from this blog, I look forward to your writing in the future.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Remember the absolute DREAD you felt before dropping in? To this day, I remember. There’s a link on my blog roll “beer thirdee” those are all my friends back home.

      One of my friends own “humidity” is a skate shop in the quarter.

      Thanks for reading and chiming in.

      Stay up.

      • rojobag says:

        I remember the dread. I try to comeback when I hit the local parks. I do what I know how to to do, so I carve bowls and pipes. The ankle that I blew out, it never hurts me when I am sprinting, or walking long distance, or bike riding, but after 45 minutes of carving it reminds me of where I was once in a time, and it hurts like something intrepid. The sonic waves of it’s unforgivance rivals my will to breathe. But I love it. Music is where I put my effort in. I keep the waves flowing. Though I do run my ass ragged trying to appease my dog’s energy level. It’s a good method for me. Stay up homey, you got this. As a bi-polar bear, I implore you to keep it standard.

        ~Rojo

        • dannyfrom504 says:

          Well, this is something i’ll never be cured of, I just have to learn to deal with it.

          It’s just as of late the nightmares, sleeplessness, non existent appetite, and depression have been more common than usual.

          Sent from my iPhone

  4. rojobag says:

    Brohemoth: Live that life, fuck your job, it will be gone. Ride the wheels, hit the streets, feel that shit, under your feet Just roll through your local hood. Put that shit against the bar as you go and feel the phillies. It feels great, you can carry it if you are taking her close that your crib. Look homesprocket, I have two death wishes on my record, and I lived through both, with shining colors. You can do this because you are who you are, unsatisfied and bored. you got this. Call me, use my email I will give you my number. I’m full of retarded angst towards myself and my actions, if th at is your affliction then I got you. No worries my friend, You have helped me more than you will ever know.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Thanks Brother, I appreciate it. I also have some serious rage issues that I have to keep in check.

      How have I helped you- If you don’t mind me asking?

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. rojobag says:

    Well, in all honesty, is if set in normal progression I would go out in the world, and I would be all, “all these stupid bitches are nothing by hypergemous nymphos, who will only stop to suck on an alpha cock.”

    However what you have taught me is that an intrinsic internal lifestyle change to, I am fucking rad because, I rule a musical instrument, I cook fanstically, and I have a grip on social situations and I know how to speak to chicks, then there it is. You gave me an outlook on life, that did not rely on notch count, what it gave me was “hey brohemoth, you cook well, you are a good human, now go out and have fun with any female you see, who cares, they could fuck you or reject you, it doesn’t matter, because you are having some fucking fun.

    I blow my mind out every day to let those love lights shine on me. For example:

    Love this life my beauties, for we live one life at a time.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Dude-

      I really appreciate your telling me that. It’s learning that I helped a guy out is what will ensure that this blog does not perish from the Sphere.

      There’s no point being bitter, that’s easy. Being better requires work, and a lot of guys just don’t know HOW to be better-

      That’s where the blog came from. It why I post openly. If my mediocre looking ass can do so well with women….ANY guy can. So I just post how I interact with wimminz. I rarely fail to get a smile and blush when I talk to a girl.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • rojobag says:

        I have so many questions about the ways, I want more. I implore you to bring more. I will come with as much as I can and write about it on my blog, but its a quandry, splitting time between my passion and my artery throbbing ways. Music… I hates you.

  6. rojobag says:

    I shall do so, Thank you sir.

  7. rgoltn says:

    Great story and a truly important point. It reminds me of my BMX days. I am older than you and when I skated, we had cement parks with PIPEs and swimming pools; no huge ramps. However, BMX was “king” and Evil Knievel was a god. I started jumping trash cans and had my share of crashes. I remember clearing “11 steel cans” on my Redline and earning the respect of the suburban tribe. I also remember the huge confidence it gave me. That is something I have always carried with me; in good times and bad. You are right, nothing is imposisble. It is the noise in our heads that is the source of what holds us back from rising up and making “big time plays” in life.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      My experiences have made me a stone. I fear little to nothing but uncertainty. I walk through life now with a Rollinsesque attitude.

      Girls….please, I’m more concerned with eating and finding my own path. A woman is free to join, but not a requirement for me. More men need to adopt this mindset.

      Sent from my iPhone

  8. Gnosis says:

    Good insights Danny. An even better title for this post would be, “Conquering Fear.”

    You’ll be surprised at how many men (including grown men) have never reached the realization you did on your “plunge.”

    It’s always good for a man to take a step back every now and again and spend some time analyzing his current status. Both previous mistakes and previous successes. Too often people don’t take the time to see what they have learned.

  9. Senior Beta says:

    Got to work with Navy shrinks many years ago and thought they did a good job. Hope you get some help. Hang in there re: the Navy. Know the feeling. And I only had to do 4 years.

  10. Angeline says:

    This was a wonderful read. I know nothing about skating, but I felt like I was there. I hope it helps you to write here, and I’m pulling for you.

  11. […] From 504 – Taking The Plunge, Into The Abyss, True […]

  12. […] large part of hazing and being initiated is two-fold. one- it builds “unit cohesion”, two- it’s a rite of passage. if you […]


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