PRO?

Here is the “before and after” picture of my ultimate #seflie. Skateboarding is inherently selfish (for better or worse) so when I knew I was getting a graphic I wanted it to be relevant to me. Thanks to Kenneth’s skill and patience he did just that, by incorporating his portrait of me with Daniel Johnston-inspired imagery (per my request). Daniel Johnston is great, and like his song that goes with said imagery, I too have lost my mind. Back in 2007 I had a mental breakdown that scared the shit out of me and my loved ones. I somehow got through it and received the treatment I needed. It’s the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me and I can’t thank my friends and family enough for getting me through it. I’m so fucking lucky. The graphic seemed appropriate to me to serve as a reminder of what had happened and where I had been – in a manic state, outside myself. I’ll never go back to that place. I had abandoned skating (along with friends) at the time. I’ll never do that again. I spent so much time skating alone in my youth that I began to enjoy it as an introspective thing. I still do, but at some point along the way skateboarding became my identity and obsession. It was great to build friendships with and challenge myself but I essentially burnt myself out on it. All I can say is don’t let the obsession get the best of you. If you thrive on it, don’t neglect it… but overdoing it will make you hate it. I don’t mean to preach to the choir – I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. To just say “thank you for buying my board” would be trivial. It has truly been an honor to have one. To anyone who went out of their way to buy one or ride one: thank you so much. At the early stages of Chophouse I made the mistake of calling myself a professional skateboarder. I quickly realized the absurdity of that. I’m a skateboarder, sure. A filmer, yes (albeit a crude one) … an editor, organizer, team manager and “social media dude.” But it simply takes more talent, focus, consistency, stamina, and people-skills to be pro. However, being able to help kick-start a unique brand with some of own edits and videos I’ve been in (thank you Tyler, Aron, Zach, Cole, etc), and having my own board to show for it, is more than the vast majority of my peers get to do – many of whom are much more talented than I. I can’t stress enough how much appreciation I have for the rippers out there, both young and old, who live for skateboarding – I follow what you do and am influenced by you. Thank you. And a million thanks to Jack and Jake for giving me a board and letting me manage the Chophouse Skateboards team. Opportunities like this don’t come around often, and I am blessed. Let’s do this, 2015.

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