Just a Piece of Wood and Wheels
Out of my few hobbies, there is one in specific that I believe has saved my life. That hobby is skateboarding. Without skateboarding, I don’t know what I would be doing right now. I was born in Los Angeles, CA, where skateboarding has always been very popular. When I was in elementary school, I would see a lot of other kids with skateboards. I thought skateboards were really cool, but no matter how much I begged and begged my parents to buy me one, they would just say no. They thought that I would get hurt or seriously injured, so my safety was their main priority.
Later on we moved to Inglewood, CA. This neighborhood was far worse than the last place we lived in. After entering middle school, my parents had finally decided upon buying me a skateboard for Christmas. My best friend was my next door neighbor, so when he saw that I had gotten a skateboard for Christmas; he went ahead and told his parents that he wanted one too. My neighbor was a couple years younger and me, he really looked up to me as a role model, so whatever I did, he did also. As kids, we both looked up to professional skateboarders and admired them in skateboarding magazines. Our neighborhood was filled with a lot of gangs and consisted of drugs and violence and there were always helicopters flying over our houses at night.
Our neighborhood was what people call “the ghetto,” and so with that in mind, there weren’t any skate parks or places that were designated for skateboarding near by. No one else that we knew in our neighborhood skateboarded, so we were like the only two kids that did. We both knew that skateboarding out in the streets was pretty dangerous, so we were afraid to come outside. All we ever really did was just skateboard in our own backyard, and the ground wasn’t very smooth so we would often get bored of it at times.
Years later, we started noticing that the City of Inglewood had finally started to build skate parks around town. The first skate park was at Darby Park, the second one was at Centinela Park and then the third one was at Rogers Park. At first, we would skate at Darby, but because Darby was pretty far, Centinela and Rogers were at a more convenient, closer location after they were built. These are the parks that we skate at even to this day. We would probably be doing something else, like being involved in drugs or gangs, if it wasn’t for skateboarding.