It was called the “Big One” in Highland Park.
We’re talking about a skatepark bowl that was twelve-foot deep, ya’dig?
My first day ’round these parts, and I was at the edge of it while a sea of BMX and skateboarding kings and queens created a wall of judgy eyes on the other side.
I could hear them snickering to one another, “who the heck does this kid think he is, coming onto our turf without credentials?”
To them, I was the man with no name on my Huffy scooter, and they were waiting for me to flinch – just like the other outsiders that decided to pound their pavement.
I remained frozen until the bullwhip crack of one of their voices snapped me out of it.
“Whatchu got, boy”
I heard the slide whistle rain down from the stratosphere and knew it was my time.
“My credentials, baby.”
I took flight, and so did they.
We went in and out of the abyss over and over again. When someone wiped out, they’d crawl to the top to make way for the next challenger. By the time the sun went down there were dozens of kids back on the edge, with busted shins and bruised feelings – the bowl having conquered them.
Did the bowl conquer me?
Did it whoop my ass though?
Now as I walk onto the pavement in the valley of Old School Wrestling, I see another bowl to conquer – with a sea of established, championed wrestling heroes on the other side.
And they all got a serious case of rabies mouth – just foaming at the chance to turn me into an example by sending me ass backwards to where I came from.
And there they go, with their snickering.
“Who the fuck does this guy think he is, coming through our halls with no credentials?”
Well, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Wiz, the Superfly American Pie, and I’m here to get my shit kicked in.
I’m also here to kick your shit in, ya’dig?
The second that I drove my scooter into the great abyss, I knew that the competition would hastily follow, because you don’t get a manicure out of shoving your hand into a hornet’s nest.
We live in restless times in a busy world and if you want to be somebody, you better sleep less in wake of the opposition and go for gusto.
And the reality is that gusto hurts.
Gusto is how I felt after I outmatched everyone else at the big one in Highland, barely able to walk my crippled ass back home in time for dinner – with a smile on my face.
And it’s that smile that makes the gusto worth it.
I know that in a gauntlet like this, their accolades are bigger and brighter. They got the Bladerunner inlines, the Haro BMX bikes, the ring hours, the championship belts –
But it’s my disadvantages that took me from the edge of that bowl, to the bottom, and back up – and before you knew it, everyone had my credentials in hand.
I don’t deny that I’ll feel my sense of curiosity for a couple weeks after all of this is said and done, baby, but you ain’t gonna deny me from conquering this bowl either.
Now let’s take this all the way to the stratosphere!