Sometimes, the best wheels are stolen ones.
No, I’m not suggesting Grand Theft Auto as a lifestyle. Instead, I took a leaf out of my ten year old self’s playbook, stole my son’s penny board, and split. Skateboarding in place of driving can be yet another tool in your bag of healthy goodies for achieving an improved lifestyle.
A 38 year old man on a skateboard is generally viewed as one of two things – totally pathetic or totally fuckin’ rad. I’m assuming you can figure out my take. It took me a few minutes to get comfortable with the balance, but by day’s end I was chasing down Christian Hosoi.
So what’s a penny board, and who is Christian Hosoi? Funny you should ask.
When I was a boy of about 10, my brother (not sure where the money came from) gave me the world’s most thoughtful gift, a skateboard. Not just any board, this was a mini Hosoi Hammerhead, white with clear grip tape and Independent trucks. Not a skater? Don’t stress it. We’re moving on.
Christian Hosoi was a famous skater, extraordinary high-flyer and the brand on my childhood board. Think Blake Griffin on four wheels.
This post isn’t about skating in the 80s and it’s not about boards in 2014, but for the sake of context and clarity, lets talk about penny boards momentarily. These are all the rage with the prepubescent set these days. They’re fun mini cruiser boards, made of plastic and now appreciated by Dane’s quirky dad.
“Dane,” I said with my 12 year old’s board in my hand, “I’m going to borrow your skateboard. Do you have a problem with that?”
“As long as you don’t break it.”
“If I break it, I’ll replace it,” I uttered confidently or smugly, depending on who bore witness.
My plan was to hit the gym about a mile away, then hit the grocery store for another mile, and then head back home. As I walked out the door, board in hand, I begin to have my doubts. This board is small and made of plastic, what if it wasn’t capable of supporting my weight?
Within the first few pushes, I was able to put that thought to rest. I felt her sturdiness as I set out in the Malibu sun, grocery bags in hand. I was getting in a great workout, but even better, I was spending the time outside that would otherwise be spent trapped in a car. (I hate cars for so many reasons. I’ll likely muse more on this in an upcoming post.)
In any event, if I wasn’t on my way to a workout and this alone was my exercise for the day, I’d be satisfied. The calculation websites out there estimate that I burned roughly 465 calories during my trip to the gym, grocery store, and back home.
I left the grocery store with 4 full bags of groceries. Lesson learned – yams aren’t light and skateboarding on a penny board with said groceries isn’t comfortable or easy. I’ll be leaving the larger shopping trips for days I want to drive, but if I’m headed out for just a few items, I’ll leave the tires at home and hop on the plastic.
Back home, I returned Dane’s board. As I did, I realized that I didn’t want this to be a one-time thing, and I asked him if he wanted to skate with me post lunch (I brought home chicken legs).
If we were going to skate together, I needed a board. Dane and I set out to my local skate shop where I figured I’d pick up an inexpensive generic board to beat up with my man. Imagine my surprise when a crazy illumination of the universe’s power (or a random coincidence) stepped in. The shop had but a single special edition “nickel board,” a slightly larger version of the penny. It was a Hosoi with clear grip tape. Mind, blown.
Deuce-Deuce (22, Dane’s nickname) and I shredded together for the next few hours. The time he and I spent as a unit was more than worth the shekels I spent on the board. From here on out, my nickel-board is cash in my lifestyle bank.
This summer, I encourage you to get outside sans your vehicle for a portion of your daily activities. Perhaps you don’t have a grocery store nearby, but what other errands can you knock out on a skateboard, bike, scooter or just your own two feet? Do you really need a car to drop off that extra large envelope at the post office? Going to eat with your family on a group of self-powered vehicles accomplishes both health and togetherness. As an added bonus, it’s hard to text and ride. Trust me, I tried it.
Skate or die,