I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I knew I would fuck it up until the time was right. Hopefully, this is the time and I give the subject at hand its due justice.
Buds. Homies. The Crew. The blader family.
You guys are the reason I still rollerblade and I can’t thank you enough.
Recently, I had a great reminder of the friends I not only have here now, but the millions of you across the world. That makes me want to shed a fucking tear.
Sunday, we were enjoying ourselves a session at the Novato skate park. If you haven’t seen or heard, it is an amazing place. There are gorgeous flowing lines, the perfect p-rail to perfect quarter run, long ledges, huge gaps, and an endless supply of creativity. Every time we go, one of the homies goes off. Real burning-off-steam or just-straight-flowing type of thing. And there are palm trees and shit.
Novato also has some of the harshest pavement in Northern California. While it’s great when you’re carving bowls, it’s also carve the ass off your jeans if you give it any shit.
I was so excited for the sesh, I didn’t drink on the Saturday night before. (This may not seem like much to your average, decent person that contributes to society, but for me it’s a big deal.)
We’d been skating for hours when another group showed up. They renewed the energy. It was awesome. Well, from what I remember of it. Shit is still a bit foggy.
The last thing I remember is seeing Kevin Yee not seeing me as we were headed in the same direction in a double-blind tunnel of quarter pipes and hips.
From my ability to reconstruct our collision using his method of travel compared with mine at a speed ratio of 8:9 and then using the abrasion and laceration patterns on my face, I was able to deduce within a margin of error of +/- 8.2 percent, Kevin’s head hit mine and I hit the ground like a fucking wet rag doll being thrown off a 83rd-story window.
I was told the best part of me being knocked unconscious was that I didn’t have to hear the noise we made as we both collided at full speed. I guess there was enough blood that Sean Keane’s shirt got a donation. There was a whole bunch of panic from all my friends at the skate park. It took me a minute to wake up, so it’s not like I was helping the situation.
While I was sort of aware of what was going on, my social media-whoring self made sure to take this picture on the way to the hospital.
If you look closely behind my eyes, I have no fucking clue where I am or what the fuck I’m doing. However, you can see my great homies Jose Fuentes and Chris Bjerre sitting behind me. If it weren’t for them, this site wouldn’t exist.
What you don’t see is Kennan Scott driving my fresh from Blackout Land dumb ass to the emergency room.
These are all important things.
I vaguely remember being too incoherent to tell Chris my address, but I was smart enough to text it to him, which only shows that the only thing my body can do on autopilot besides pump blood and breathe is use my iPhone.
Jesus Christ. Is that what I’ve become, a nonthinking texting douche bag? Pardon me while I finish the job Yee couldn’t and go kill myself.
Okay, not right now. I’ve got Sunday Streets this week. Maybe after. No, I want to see how this season of Breaking Bad is going to end. And there’s going to be another season. Okay, I’ll at least stick around until Breaking Bad is cancelled. After that, I’m out.
Kennan stayed with me to ensure I didn’t do anything too stupid. Once I started joking with the nurses about how funny looking I was to begin with, Kennan knew I was going to be okay. A CT scan confirmed I wasn’t about to be the next Terri Sciavo.
And that’s when my brain finally came back online. I was able to begin making memories again, so I had a clear grasp of what happened—I was knocked out and my friends made sure I got to an emergency room safely. Talk about a comforting warm blanket to wrap yourself in.
I, did, however make the rookie mistake of manning-up at a hospital. When asked how much it hurt, I told the good doctor “I’ve been through worse.”
I’m a fucking idiot.
Do you know what that means?
Don’t fucking do that, man. Seriously, I’m old. I may only be 30, but I’ve had a degenerative joint disease for the last 10 years. My shit is fucked. I’m like that skit from Louis C.K. where he talks about how doing drugs at his age was like popping a few painkillers and then hanging out by yourself at a diner. While I’m not that bad off, I would kill your sister for a Vicodin and a beer right now.
Three days later, every time I blow my nose blood comes out, I can wiggle a molar, and my knee gives out at the thought of a stair. This shit sucks.
Kevin Yee fucks my shit up and then I have to pretend to be fucking Rambo while very much in the middle of a concussion?
If there is a Divine Creator, I would like to know what the fuck he was doing when he put me together. Seriously, I tell the truth at the dumbest times.
Words of eternal advice: you get fucked up, you pussy-down. You reach inside yourself and find your inner vagina, the one that makes you go “aww” when you see a kitten. You whip that thing out and slap it down on the exam table and bitch about every little single complaint you can think of. Fuck it, make up some repressed bullshit that’s coming back.
Do what you have to get the drugs. If all else, you know your friends will buy them off you for stupid amounts.
And before you go and do something stupid like say I’m advocating that you lie to doctors to get pills, that’s nonsense. I would never do that. Make your friends do that shit for you. This is America. No one does their own work.
What’s the point of all this self-loathing melodramatic bullshit, you ask? It’s a valid question because some of this isn’t making much sense to me either. (Remember, three days off taking a momentary dirt nap on brutal concrete.)
It’s a damn comforting fact that when I’m with my rollerblading, I should have not one damn thing to worry about.
Besides scooping parts of my face off concrete, I know my blading buddies have my back and there is nothing sicker than that.
I’m about to get my ass kicked? They’ll make sure it doesn’t.
I’ve got some bullshit? They’ll read it.
I ran out of beer? Someone’s got one for me.
These are very, very important to me at this point in my life. Actually, I dread the day when those things aren’t top priorities. (Note to self: get preemptive vasectomy.)
They’re just down to help out. They’re the ones helping the sport.
No matter where you go, there’s always that one point of contact for people from out of town who need a place to crash, looking to sesh, or just want to sit down with you for a beer at a bar with a good jukebox and a pretty bartender.
Those are the best rollerbladers, and if rollerbladers are the best people in the world, those with open door policies towards fellow bladers are the saints that walk among demons.
They’re the ones housing the touring skaters so they can travel farther with less money. That makes for better videos. Good skating videos make the world a better place.
They’re the bladers that allow us to vacation to cities we’ve never been to because we can only afford it if we stay with a friend.
Those are the houses that have more sleeping bags than they do actual beds.
They run blader houses, meccas to those who choose to wander and speak a language only few understand.
They are the ones donating their time and talent to something that may never yield a quality paycheck and they’re proud of it.
They are my heroes and idols and people I try to emulate as much as I can whenever I can because there aren’t many sports like us in many ways.
How many times have you seen people of other sports immediately begin talking shit on people—of their own goddamn sport—the second they show up to the skate spot or park? It’s fucking ridiculous.
How many of us here have seen rollerbladers anywhere—anywhere—that we didn’t know and didn’t instinctively feel this way on the inside: Fuck. I had a girlfriend who saw someone wearing a pair of skates “like yours but not like yours” and flagged him down to borrow his phone to call me. All she told him was “my boyfriend rollerblades.” His name is Seth Tate and I’m long overdue to skate with him.
That’s not only family shit, that’s random act of blader shit. Fuckers go to heaven for shit like that.
I’ve witnessed other people leave their friends when they get fucked up. I’ve seen friends stand and watch their friends get jumped and do nothing about it. I’ve seen people take some gnarly drunk falls and leave the person to fend on their own. I’ve seen college guys leave their passed out friend in a snow bank and never return.
We don’t do that. Bad drunks and assholes do that. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all assholes to one extent or another, but we’re not assholes like that.
One thing for certain is that we’re all fucking drunks.
We’re not addicts, like the usual analogy goes. We’re drunks. There’s a huge difference.
See, after a while anyone on most drugs will stop calling into work and not show up at all. Before you know it, they haven’t eaten so long they’re being cast as extras for the next movie about the Holocaust. At least that’s how all those after-school specials told me it goes.
Drunks, well, we’re a special breed. We can usually hide better inside society. We stand out a bit here and there, but no matter where we go, when we see a bar we think it might be time for a drink.
For us, that bar is a skate spot and the drinking part means skating the living fuck out of it until we’re satisfied.
We try to be romantic and whimsical when people ask about it, but we’re twitching on the inside to the point where our palms get a little sweaty thinking out it. We’ll be with girls or non-blading friends (which I only have because society tells me men over 30 should have friends from more than one social circle) and see a spot. Whether we choose to mention it or not to our company, we’re sure as hell daydreaming about it.
We’re all drunks, the kind that pictures sobriety from rollerblading as the quickest of slow deaths.
We can love so many other things in life, but if we weren’t for an addiction to one thing we wouldn’t need to keep coming back to it.
Basically, we’re all united because of one damn thing that means so much to all of us. It’s a freedom we cannot experience anywhere else in life and to live without us would make us slaves to something less tortuously beautiful.
And we all know this. And that’s why we all hang out. (And that’s why I drink.)
We’re a giant, self-adopted family. We all found each other at a young age when we had no idea what we wanted out of life until that moment we were hooked on rollerblading for good. Even if we have to be seen less frequently because of new-found pressures from school, work, girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, husband, kids, demanding dogs, and other shit that ties up all your time as an adult, nothing’s any different anytime we blade.
It’s really fucking sick.
Blading will never be more important than the people in it.
That guy right there is blader from Iowa, Dylan Huntbach. He was injured in a tubing accident last month to the point where they don’t know if he’ll ever walk again. As he is regarded as one of the best homies by those who know him best, word of his injury spread quickly.
And when a lot of pro skaters heard about the accident, what did they do? They fucking got his number and called him to wish him a speedy recovery. A lot of pros.
Who else has that?
Fucking no one.
It was amazing. His friends were excited to play him the messages. It cheered him up a lot during those crucial first days after the accident.
So here’s the sales pitch: a fund has been set up to help with Dylan’s medical expenses. This is America and our healthcare sucks. If you have anything to spare, donations can be mailed to the Dylan Huntbach fund to any of the locations listed by clicking here. If you don’t, no one is judging you. Shit is tough for everyone right now.
So, long story short is that I’m actually really glad I got knocked the fuck out this week. It made a lot of things apparently clear to me, namely that we are constantly surrounded by amazing people who wouldn’t flinch at the thought of helping out when shit’s fucked up. Just like the mother fucking Bat-Man.
This is truly the best family anyone could be a part of and I will never be able to adequately thank all of you for being so fucking dope.
(Except for JSF. That shit’s better.)
And if any of you mother fuckers give SHOCK Posse member Kevin Yee any shit, look at how skinny he is and know that I’m 6-foot, 180 pounds of Viking legacy. He laid me out like a skank in a tanning bed.
Mother fucker is a god damn ninja and he will slice your bitch ass up anytime he mother fucking feels like it. He will purposely punch you in the pancreas so it will sever and you’ll have Type 1 diabetes for the rest of your life.
He’ll Diabetic Punch you.
Deal with fucking that.
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. — I’m always using this space to hock my books. For the next month, all proceeds from my book sales will go to Dylan’s fund. Order directly from me here. Fuck it, I’ll send you fake drugs, too.