Getting older really kind of sucks. Outside of the fact you slowly learn the limitations of your once Wolverine-like healing abilities, it’s about realizing the preciousness of time.
Shit runs out every second you’re alive. The friends and family that have died before us are shining examples of that. They’ve left behind their legacy and we’re still here trying to make our own. It may be one with an ultimate goal somewhere or it may be doing everything as much as you can.
No matter where you are now, at some point, you may need some kind of day job. It’ll suck to answer to another person’s whim, but hopefully it keeps the roof over your head and some decent food in your stomach.
Since I shared a paper route with my brother when I was 11, I’ve always had some form of employment, most often more than one. From having three jobs in college to enduring 14-hour long working and volunteering Fridays in my late 20s, I’m familiar with the idea of working for a living.
I come from a strong stock of hard core blue collar mother fuckers, so I’m not afraid of a little work. I think it builds character. How you’re doing that work and under what terms, defines your character.
If you’re one of those people who will do anything for money, keep going and have fun. If you’re not, if you possess a bit of personal conviction that money can’t buy from you, then I applaud you, sirs and ma’ams. Gold bless you and carry on proudly.
I’ve worked about two dozen different jobs in the best 20 years of my life and I’m glad a reasonably decent chunk of that money went to keep wheels on my feet for the last 16 years. From cleaning bathrooms at Wal-Mart to buy Senate wheels to making appetizers for Tim Gunn and Stifler’s Mom to buy Street Artist wheels direct from AJ at Bitter Cold, I’ve been continually investing in the people who make up this sport and I will happily do it until youngin’s like Dylan Davis and the rest of the Haitian kids have to retire from old age.
Blading gives me a break from it. It keeps me surrounded with great people from all over the world who are dieheartedly supportive, unrelenting, and know how to chug some beers and fuck things up properly.
Because after 60-hour working weeks you gotta let the beast out somehow and society really frowns on unjustified homicide. Blading is a much better alternative. Let the pain from healing weekend injuries serve as a reminder under our work clothes of the one thing we’ve loved the longest.
Always keep some wheels close to your feet. And, no, it doesn’t matter which of the umpteen new wheel brands you choose. It’ll never stop being about blading. It is, after all, the only reason you’re reading my bullshit.
There is nothing I love more than writing about rollerblading, but until there’s a day I can keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach by making a living on my own, I have to keep a day job.
My 9 to 5 is a cubicle job, but I’ve basically earned a bachelor’s in medicine and get to write some interesting stuff that can possible help people understand the basics of how the human body works and how we’re regularly fucking it up. It’s also made me a hypochondriac and I think I have rickets.
See, I really love this shit. It kills me that months go by without an update. Too often, I feel too disconnected with the rolllerblading world—outside keeping up with the latest edits and articles—but no matter what, I’m always thinking about the next sesh, whether it’s a quick one by myself on the skate home or getting one in on the weekend. All I can think about right now is the Wednesday night skate, which I’ve been foolishly neglecting.
No more! See you boys after work tomorrow and, of course, the JSF BBQ!
I’m working on that thing. I’m working on creating my all-or-nothing shot in hopes of someday being no one’s employee but my own. It means putting in a lot of unpaid hours, but that’s nothing anyone doing anything productive in blading isn’t familiar with. Hopefully it pays off enough to buy me a little more time.
For many people—the names you know—blading is that thing. And as we all know, blading isn’t some mega popular skate park clogger like the societal sponges like fresh-from-the-womb kids on scooters. (Remember from the kitchen: sponges are absorbent, so the more they’re flooded with positive behavior from rollerbladers—think mentor status people!—the more they’ll soak in.)
These aging realities of our median age is why it’s even more important to market ourselves like 1985 Marlboro and start hooking kids on the ideal that blading makes you look like you can light a match on your stubble.
Just like high school smokers, not all are going to fall for it.
Until we are all working for each other, let’s at least make sure we’re working with one another. Bladers have been hooking each other up with jobs before the ball bearing was invented.
Here in the Bay, we can find you something, depending on your skill set or willingness to take some shit. This town was built on the transient lifestyle, but the only time in my life I’ve been without a job for two months. Considering this economy, that’s still a fucking miracle.
Let’s face it—there’s no better job interview than skating with someone. You know how they handle their temper, how punctual they are, and what it’s like sharing common space with them. Other than that, most monkeys could be trained to do most of our jobs with enough chow. However, if you work in medical research, food handling, or any aspect of the education, military, or criminal justice system, it’s best we keep monkeys out of the mix. We let them into the government and they’re shitting all over us.
For the liberal arts majors like me, we know how replaceable we all are and that’s why we have restaurant or bar experience we can always fall back on.
If you have the power, hire a blader.
I’ve watch what’s happened to truly talented, creative, and happy people when they’re shoved into doing work against their will. You ever watch someone knowingly walk into their own rape? It’s sad to watch and I’m sick of seeing it happen over and over.
Maybe by the end of the year if I work and get my shit right, I can afford to hire on one part-time worker to help me with that big project. And you know it’s going to be a blader.
If bladers can stick together and come up together, we can make like Loc Dog and run some shit properly, on our own terms with two-hour lunches for skate seshes and the ability to write off skate shit on our taxes. You know what I’m saying.
Figured we could get us jobs at the post office, you know, maybe at a bank. You know what I’m saying.
Work real hard. Work our way up to managers. You know what I’m saying?
Learn the system a little bit. Then we’ll rob that motherfucker blind.
Break all y’allselves.
But no fucking suits!
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. — To be a completely selfish prick, this is where I plug my books. I write about life and shit in those as well. There may or may not be more mentions of good reasons to have fun in life, but there’s more reasons why drugs and alcohol may be, as the great philospher Homer once said, the cause of and solution to, all of life’s problems.
- A Constant Suicide: a book about going to college, getting drunk, and killing yourself.
- Freeze Tag on the Highway: a book about summer camp, prescription drugs, and underground beta fish fighting.
- Shred ‘Til You’re Dead II: a book about the importance of going on a road trip with no plans other than blading, camping, and getting drunk with your friends around a campfire. Oh yeah, and aliens.
- Assault Rifles and Pedophiles: An American Love Story: coming soon.