Today, I walked out of the Morgan Library, into the Lory Student Center Plaza and saw a guy trying a flippy-mctwist-turny-buzz-jumping-hoppidy-flip on his skateboard.
He didnâ€™t land it.
Instead, he landed hard on his ankle, and the board shot out from underneath him, hitting an innocent bystander in the shins. She was talking on the phone, probably about how great it was being back on campus. Then, she nearly collapsed from the mystery shot sent her way by McFlippy, who was now laying on the cement, one leg curled to his chest in agony.
Iâ€™m not opposed to street skaters. I like indulging in a little street skating myself.
It feels good to go whizzing past the Moms pushing doublewide strollers down the sidewalks or the hoards of students on campus. An odd sense of empowerment washes over me in a cool wave when I pass an elderly couple on their left, reminding them just how young I am.
Letâ€™s be honest though, trying a three flip-double-back-stabber-dump-truck in front of the majority of the student body must feel good, but thatâ€™s just asking for trouble.
The front of the Library is not a local skate park. Fort Collins has three of those already: Edora Skateboard Park, Fossil Creek Skateboard Park and the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
Iâ€™ve seen no plans for building one in front of the CSU library yet, but donâ€™t rule out the possibility. With all the construction going on around campus, they could start digging anywhere without warning.
The public skate parks are open year-round and theyâ€™re free. Having skated at all three, I can say the crowd isnâ€™t nearly as stimulating as 1,000 campus students, which may be why the front of the library seems to be the new place to recreate the X-Games.
Also, college-aged skaters donâ€™t really fit in at the skate parkâ€™s in Fort Collins.
I, for example, am the college kid who started skating way too late. When the middle-schoolers make me cry because Iâ€™ve tried a tractor-shovel-scooper and smash my shoulder into a concrete wall, I start to get a little conscientious and curse at 12 year olds, which looks bad on my record.
The typical Fort Collins skate park looks like a biker festival for middle-schoolers.
Imagine all the misfit middle-schoolers in town gathered around a cement bowl, thatâ€™s been graffitied on in the middle.
Replace their motorcycles with skateboards, shrink them, make them look younger with wild hair, and you have the skater crowd. They can keep their cigarettes, chains, wallet studs, piercings, ripped jeans, cut off flannels and, unfortunately, their leathers.
This image can be applied to all skaters for at least a five-year period.
The equation goes: If a boy or girl starts skating at age 10, he or she is sure to adopt this style within months in order to be accepted. This style will remain prevalent, with minor changes, for the next five years of his or her life. Unless of course a disaster happens, like a bad break-up, a hard fall or â€“â€“ God forbidâ€“â€“ the destruction of the skate park.
That can lead to depression, anxiety, identity crisis, anorexia, dog fights and free jumping.
Also, itâ€™s better when a subject starts early, because this equation is the same for those who start skating around age 15.
At 20, they hopefully drop the skateboard and trade it for an old Harley to begin their mutation. Either that or they go to college and refine their style into the cool devil-may-care skater who buys all the new gear and a $125 board every few months to skate outside the campus library.
Or, theyâ€™re like me: Pathetic and liable to get a lawsuit filed against them for striking a child.
McFlippy, I know where youâ€™re coming from. Iâ€™ve been where you are. Exactly. My only advice is to try and perfect the wave-humper-9000 somewhere where there arenâ€™t 1,000 of your peers secretly watching you.
Perhaps starting with the middle-schoolers isnâ€™t such a bad idea after all.
_ Shane Rohleder is a senior communication studies major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org._