The Greatest Day of My Life

December 17, 2008
By Zareh Baboomian, Glendale, CA

I wake up on August 3rd, 2007 on a scorching summer morning not knowing that today would be the greatest day of my life. It’s over a hundred degrees outside and I have only one thing on my mind: the X-Games. The X-Games is basically the Olympics for action sports, anyone who has an X-Games medal is a world-class athlete. Everyone hopes to be in the contest because that alone will put your name in the mouths of all of the spectators.

First things first, I had the most perfect breakfast that morning of eggs, bacon and orange juice. Once my mom and I ate, we hit the road to get on the freeway. I was filled with anticipation as I looked out the window and saw Glendale, Burbank, and downtown Los Angeles pass me by. I start to doze off and eventually I fall asleep while we’re driving down the traffic-jammed 101 freeway. All of the sudden I feel my mom shaking my arm to wake me up. My vision was kind of blurry as I poked my head out the window to try to identify where we are. As soon as I turned my head I see a huge orange sign that says “Home Depot Center Parking”. A huge grin spread across my face as I saw the sign.

At last! We reached out destination in what seemed like forever. I get out of the car and stretch my muscles and feel the warmth of the sun on my body; bracing myself for the greatest day of my 15-year old life. We walk along a rocky path that leads us from the parking lot to the X-Games. After walking for about ten minutes, I see an enormous, red “X”: we were finally here. At X-games they have a festival set up where all of the sponsors come out and give out free promotional items and set up booths where you can take part in various activities; this festival is called the X-Fest. As we walk in, the X-Fest opens up in front of my eyes. Food stands and sponsor booths as far as the eye can see. Aromas of delicious foods and the sound of rock music fill the air creating an experience like no other. U.S. Marine challenges, air brush tattoos, a skate park and so much more. Seeing all of this made my eyes get huge, like the size of tennis balls. I took off to go to all of the booths and within 45 minutes I came back to where my mom was waiting with two armfuls of free promotional product and a large foam taco hat with me. When my mom saw this sight, she just laughed and shook her head. All of this and we still had some awesome skateboarding to see.

Now with all of this stuff under my arms, I made my way to the arena where the pros would be showcasing their skateboarding skills. The arena looked so small, but once you had your ticket scanned and you were granted access to the contest, you see just how large the arena is. The street course took up the entire arena with the perfect handrails, smooth set of stairs and the nicest ramps a skater could ever ride. We took our seats as the action began. One thing that I love about skate contests is that the skaters are doing it for the love of skating: oh yea, and that hefty 5,000 dollar check for whoever wins first place; that might provide some incentive to win.

Each of the skaters took their runs and the entire arena was filled with the sounds of plywood smacking concrete, metal rubbing metal and the occasional board snapping. Anytime a skater landed a trick the crowd erupted with cheers and clapping. Also, when a skater would not land a trick the entire crowd felt sorry for the skater because most of the audience was skaters too, so we could relate to that kind of disappointment. One thing most people don’t know about skating is that we’re not all too competitive. There are no good guys and bad guys in skating and there are no rivalries. We skate because it completes us. We live for skating and we cheer each other on and push each other to do their absolute best. It doesn’t matter if we are just skating with a couple pals at a park or if we’re in a professional competition, we cheer each other on. There is no lack of sportsmanship in skating.

There was one skater that everyone was watching closely and his name is Greg. People took notice that he kept attempting this one trick, so when he finally landed the trick the crowd just exploded with cheers and chants of his name. Every skater in that crowd knew what that felt like; to be in such desperation to land a trick and then when you finally land it, you just get a sense of accomplishment that just makes yourself so happy. Another thing that is great is that you can tell what kind of skater each one is just by their facial expression. If a skater has a tired and desperate look on his face, you know that he is just exhausted and wants it so much. If a skater has this permanent and almost mischievous grin on his face, you know that he’s just there to have a good time. Finally, there are the skaters who have a face that just radiates determination and concentration. They don’t pay attention to anything else but nailing their tricks. It’s almost as if they are off in their own world. These are the guys who lay down the most mind-blowing tricks that win them the competition. The crowd favorite this year was Ryan, but my favorite was Paul. As the judges had their final thoughts, the scores were displayed on the huge screen in the corner of the arena. Chris had won gold for the second year in a row, Greg had won silver and Jereme walked away with the bronze. If you thought all the action wrapped up when the judges posted the scores, you had seen nothing yet. This was just a little breeze compared to the tornado that was about to hit.

As the spectators poured out of the arena they made their way to the door that said “Athletes Only” to meet their favorite pros. We were packed together like sardines, so if you wanted to move; too bad, you had to stay where you were. You couldn’t raise an arm without hitting someone on the shoulder or head. I had one guy that I wanted to meet since I began skating; Chad Muska. This man was a wizard on the skateboard. As all of the different pros came out, I gave them high-fives, congratulating them on their runs. Then there he was, Chad Muska, in the flesh. I fought my way through the crowd to get to him and I finally met him and shook his hand. The man whose skating I’d been trying to emulate since I began skating, the man who has made a name for himself in the music and skating industry. After I met him, my hands were shaking excitedly, my eyes became tennis balls again and I was dead quiet just from sheer shock of meeting the man who had basically inspired me to start skating. When we were walking back to X-Fest I saw Chad in the corner of my eye skating in the skate park that Element skateboards had set up as their booth. So myself, and huge crowd of people made our way to the guard rail in front of the park where we cheered on our favorite skaters. To me, watching Chad skate was like watching Michael Jordan in his prime; I was just in awe. The way he skated and his swagger that he had on the board is one of a kind.

The sun had started to set which meant it was time to go home. I was exhausted after being under the blistering sun and walking around all day, but it was all worth it. So as soon as I got in the car, I put the seat back and fell asleep as my mom was driving us home. I could rest my head and dream good things because I just experienced the greatest day of my life.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 1 2009 at 12:12 am
pinksage33 BRONZE, Woodstock, New York
4 articles 1 photo 211 comments
Not Bad.


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