Monday, November 21, 2011

How I Found Animal Chin

Powell-Peralta recently held a contest in which they gave away a Caballero Mechanical Dragon deck. For reasons unbeknown to me they chose my essay as the winner. I'm sure the other entrants were just as deserving as me as the spirit of Animal Chin dwells in the soul of all skaters. I am humbled to say the least.

I owe Emily and Chin my life. Emily is my wife, partner, best friend, and provider of support that keeps me on 4 wheels while the spirit of Chin keeps me rolling still to this day. Up until my 34th birthday I wasn't spending much time if any on board. I was using my body for a storage tank and loading it up daily with beer and junk food. Fatty Liver Disease had set in. I was moderately obese. Then in the spring of 2006 Emily bought me a Powell Skull and Sword reissue with Indy Trucks and 60mm 85a Rat Bones. I started skating again, desperate to find my driving spirit, Wonton Animal Chin. And I stopped drinking beer and I rediscovered the benefits of lifegiving water. It is a wonderful drink that flushes your vital organs. I started drinking it in quantity. I attempted to modify my diet (Good Luck with that one). That summer we made the trip to Oregon and I saw first hand just how alive skateboarding is. I met Cab and his daughter in the parking lot of Newberg skatepark on the 3rd day of the Oregon Trifecta. Steven Reeves was there too. I returned from the West with a renewed vigor to keep searching for Chin.

Now here we are 5 years later and my liver enzymes are normal which means the Fatty Liver Disease is a thing of the past. I'm also happy to say that I tip the scales with 40 less pounds on my body. Yes, 40 pounds. I'm not "sick" all the time.

I skate every chance I get these days despite working more than full time as a caregiver for my wife as she was stricken with a neuro-muscular disease at the age of 32. My wife and son will often accompany me on my excursions searching for Chin. I am grateful to have my son Elijah on board and skating by my side, keeping an eye out for the elusive style-master Chin. Some dads take their sons hunting, some throw a ball. We SKATEBOARD, therefore We LIVE.

In the last year I found Chin. He dwells in the skatepark I ride, in the curbs I slappy, and in the smooth and steep banks I wallride. More importantly he dwells in my soul, always driving me to keep pushing, to keep looking at the world around me through the eyes of a 14 year-old skater even if my body is close to 40, and he keeps me motivated to get out there and roll even under the most adverse of conditions.

This is my testimonial. Skateboarding saved my life. More importantly my wife saved my life with skateboarding. And Chin, I discovered, has been here with me all the while, my spirit guide on 4 wheels.


Kraston said...

Hey Jeff, I haven't been checking in on your site in awhile or on my own...been trying to take care of some other things in my life lately but still watch or read something related to skateboarding daily...I did have a couple really good sessions last month that lasted 2 hours each...much nicer than my usual lunch break session! :) Congrats on winning the essay...I read it and your story is a very inspiring deserved to win...btw, just watched Search For Animal Chin the other day while on the treadmill. :) I find skate videos help the time go by faster! :)

Jeff said...

Right on Kraston, I broke my left hand about 2 weeks ago, been laid up and blogging a lot to pass the time. Thanks for stopping by, always good to hear from you.