Leaving the Herd, Joining the Tribe

i was a nerd. no, seriously, when i was a kid i was a straight up geek. i read encylopedia brown, looked forward to book fairs, played DnD and acedemic games. yeah……certified nerd. back then, nerds were pariahs. i just didn’t fit in with the “cool kids”. i remember all too well grades 2-6. i had friends, but with each passing year school got more and more clique’ish. and i saw i had less and less friends. it soon became me and my fellow geeks.

6th grade. admit it, i was adorable.

6th grade. admit it, i was adorable.

then i hit junior high. one of my friends started skateboarding, then i too tried it. i became obsessed. my life did a fundamental 180. my language changed, my dress changed, my attitude- changed. had a great post about losing your virginity and how high school hierarchy breaks down your access to women. i walked a different route, i became a skater.

i went from a meek, soft-spoken kid to a trash talking, don’t give a fuck, “it’s all about me”, little bastard. i got REALLY into to punk and rap (white people didn’t really listen to rap back then). my afterschool’s were spent learning every trick i could. it took me almost a week to learn to ollie. i spent HOURS surfing concrete. i met wolves that wouldn’t have given me a second thought if not for me being part of the tribe.

the blogger as a high school freshman. admit it, you NEVER let your daughter be alone with this.

the blogger as a high school freshman. admit it, you NEVER let your daughter be alone with this.

then there were the girls. notice how i posted i lost my virginity in 8th grade. i started skating in 7th grade, and basically spent the year building a reputation (though i had ZERO clue about it) as a “bad boy”. i still did enough school work to get by, but i had been booted from my “honor’s” classes. right around 8th grade i started getting notes in my locker from girls.

no cells phones back then, but kids were definitely “sexting”. i got some pretty gnarly letters from girls when i was in school.

didn’t matter. i LOVED skating. weekends had me leaving the house at 9am and not coming home until 10pm. mom would have to give $2-3 to make sure i’d eat. ramps (dork and vert), street, i LOVED sessioning with my friends. it was one of the first times i did something just for myself.

mom had just divorced and i was banging heads with my step dad. skating gave a me a great outlet for self destruction that was somewhat accpetable. and i was a tiny kid. still, i had ZERO fear when i had a board underneath me. “Danny’ll do it” became a common phrase when it came to a stunt.

it was my first “going my own way” choice. it was fringe, but NO ONE fucked with the skater’s. jocks avoided us, the “popular” kids didn’t tease us, and we stuck together like blood. there’s a reason it’s referred to as “the tribe”. hell, even when i started surfing in san diego, i fit right in. even to this day, i make it a point to visit my friends back in NO and try to catch a session.

so…..what’s the point to all this?

when you find something you enjoy, you’re passionate about- do it. suck the marrow out of getting as much out of it as you can. get as proficient at it as you can. there’s nothing more liberating. i only skated for about 4 years. but it changed me forever. i learned that i was responsible for my own happiness and what other people think means DICK.

the herd chokes you, the tribe embraces you. and guess what….the women take notice and will want to follow you deeper into “your world”. so find your niche in this world, and own it. do you really think i give 2 fuck’s about what people think of my retirement plans?


stay up.

19 Comments on “Leaving the Herd, Joining the Tribe”

  1. St Swithunus says:

    I believe your history, after all you kept the BC glasses from your geek days…

    (don’t hate me, just pity my sense of humour)

  2. Mister E says:

    I know exactly what you mean there Danny. I didn’t ride a board, but my folks bought a motorcycle (Kawasaki 440 LTD) for me to get to all my different jobs during my last two years of high school. I was the only guy who rode a bike and it got me more attention than anything. This one time, a̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶c̶a̶m̶p̶ I went to help out with building our junior year float for the homecoming parade. I got asked by more girls for rides than I can shake a stick at. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a second helmet (my folks choice, not mine, I think they knew what would happen if there was another helmet), but that still didn’t deter some of them from asking questions and showing some serious interest. And it was the very reserved girls that were doing the majority of the asking. I never thought I could be the bad boy type until I rode a bike. After that, then anything was possible. I do miss that bike. Would love to get another one someday.

  3. John Doe says:

    Your route was not the only route to early success with chicks. I was a jock. Otherwise shy, inexperienced with girls, and a dork. But they loved me because I could run fast and ball.

  4. earl says:

    Seems like a good combo.

    Nerd on the inside, badass on the outside.

  5. Raul says:

    Wow does that bring back the memories, I’m about the same age and it’s hilarious to me that unless you were skating back then almost nobody remembers it not being mainstream. And I’m like man my Skateboarding is Not a Crime t-shirt got rocked even harder then my Vision t.

  6. theshido says:

    Man, I believe it just from the way you wrote about it. Hell, this post made me want to go skate again and get really fucking good.

    It’s surprising, really; all it takes is for you to find something you’re fucking crazy about. That’s the gym for me, and that’s what started me on my way up. After a few months of picking up a weight and some laughable noob gains, everyone was like ‘oh shit’.

  7. Doktor Bill says:

    Danny’ll do it! LOL Great post BTW our nephew(also a skate punk) looks Just like your skate punk photo, same look on his face in every photo! He’ll be fine.

  8. laidnyc says:

    This post inspired me… to get a haircut.

    Seriously though: Passion over pussy. Every time.

  9. Tin Man says:

    “the herd chokes you, the tribe embraces you”

    I read that and just shock my head and thought…you’re right, true to core on that. I think that’s why “fraternal” organizations, the military, sometimes your first real job, college, etc. are so important for Men – because you get out of the herd and into the tribe. Many young Men miss that in High School (or before that) – that was lucky enough to have a core of friends through HS, another one in college and then a third set later when I worked for a large tech company.

    In all instances, you belonged, you spoke the same language, you shared either the same or similar experiences – you related on that deepest of Male levels (whatever that would be called). What happens is that these are deep bonds – not superficial one (which I believe most woman have – but it’s only a guess). There are many of these Men, that even today, if I was within 100 miles of them, I could contact at 3am to help me out – and they know the reverse is true also.

    I like the way you put it though…Live, Learn, Lead.

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

  11. […] then i hit junior high. one of my friends started skateboarding, then i too tried it. i became obses… […]

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