Has Been–Will Be

8 Mar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used to have hair…
  Climbing Red Rocks, NV, 1996

I used to rattle off one-arm pull ups and climb steep rock faces. On my skateboard, I used to ollie garbage cans, slide down hand railings, and fly off loading docks. I can’t do that shit anymore because I’m grinding into the Has Been stage of my life. It bums me out, but you know the saying.

Better to have ripped than not rip at all.

Surfing helps me cope. Weekend surfers like myself can still catch the bomb—pull in—hope and believe. The big drop and monster tube is only a stroke away. I also like to test my ollie: up curbs, one eighties, and over my kid’s toys. And the last time I snowboarded with my mate, we sprayed rooster tails at forty miles an hour, split a pitcher of micro-brew, and carved some more.

Hell yeah.

So I’m not tossing in the towel or anything; I’m just not flying off loading docks. I’m also coaching some Will Bees and that helps me embrace Ripper Decline.  My oldest boy is three years and his little bro is a year old. Lori and I are everything to them as they are to us; we are their first memories. They will have many “teachers” in their life but only one Mommy, and one Daddy

So I try to keep a respectable rip going. On my 39th birthday, I ollied my son’s toy trucks of various sizes. That ollie-incident was enough for him to give me a fist bump with a little glint in his eyes. Of course toddlers gawk at anything their parents do; I think he had the same glint when I juggled garden tools for him (at a respectable distance of course). It’s no secret, kids want to be like their parents. I can only hope he remembers that ollie more than he remembers me yelling at his Mom in what can only be respectably called a marriage-growing-sleep-deprived-moment. 

Recently, we watched my 39th bday ollie video together and I pointed out  how, “I fell a lot before I DID IT!”

“You DID it Daddy, Daddy did it!” he yelled.

At that moment I realized it wasn’t about me nailing the ollie: I was modeling how to have fun–how to try, and more importantly–keep trying.

For in order to call yourself a Has Been you must first Be.

My sons Will Be.

It’s been almost a year since Rayden recieved his scooter. The two wheels in the front and locked steering wheel is more stable than the scooters with a steering wheel. The scooters with two wheels in the back tend to get in the way when they are pushing and steering wheels tend to jackknife. With this model he has to turn his hips and lean much like carving a skateboard, surboard, or snowboard. The model we have is the Kickboard Mini Scooter.

Jaxen at one year “ripping” it! The Spooner board has just enough rock to it to make it fun. He’s starting to do it without holding onto anything. Jax da Rippah!

Note: My 40th birthday ollie test ended with me breaking the stroller. It was a lame attempt; must be getting old.

* * *


Ryan Chin is the author of Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows, a multimedia memoir about his teaching experience in New Zealand. He likes to call it a pet and teacher memoir sandwiched into an overseas adventure. The book is available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and locally at Powell’s Books. He keeps a stack on his dashboard for random giveaways so if you see a Chinese guy driving a big white van, throw a piece of fruit (preferably something soft like a banana) at his windshield; he might stop and give you a book.


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