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Skateboarding This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When I was in sixth grade, my friends and I weren't very popular. I had five bestfriends who were in all my classes, and we stuck very close together. While welistened to punk rock and wore baggy clothes, the rest of our school listened topop and wore designer jeans.
A month after school started, Liam, Ozzy, Heather,Jaime, Chris and I walked to the junior high school to try to look cool standingaround the eighth graders. A group of five boys and two girls were skateboardingin the parking lot. They practically flew as they slid down handrails, addedspins and slapped their decks against the stairs. We couldn't believe they wereable to pull off those tricks and live to tell about it. They made it look soeasy! Their adrenaline spread to us, and we knew we had to try it.

After wewatched them for 40 minutes, they came over to talk to us. They told us storiesabout how they learned to ride and a place where we could get good equipment. Oneplace they mentioned wasn't far from my house. The eighth graders told us that ifwe got some cheap boards and went to the downtown skate park, we could start ourskateboarding lessons on Saturday at three o'clock.

When we got there, we weresurrounded by high school students who didn't look like the nicest people in theworld. We slowly walked through the gates as we watched them fly. As soon as theysaw us, they stopped skating, grabbed their boards and walked toward us. Myfriends and I looked at each other, ready to run. They stood over us like giants.The biggest one, Matt, stared down at us as his voice boomed, "Are you ready?" Wecautiously nodded. The giants turned and started walking back toward the halfpipes. "Letpis go!" Matt yelled, as we quickly ran after them.

For the next fivehours, we learned the basics, such as how to stand on the board without falling.We talked and laughed together on the walk home. Those big tall monsters werenpitas scary as we thought. Within a month, we were tackling the half pipes andaggressive street skating.

Our circle of friends had grown, my grades hadimproved, and I actually had high school students defending me when there wererun-ins with other cliques. Thatpis the dream of every sixth-grader, and it cametrue for me.

After about eight months of skating, I went back to the skate shopand bought a new board. I picked out a new World Industries deck, Independenttrucks and Spitfire wheels. I still have that board.

I've been skating for almostfour years now, and some of my friends have decided to go pro. One of them mighteven join the X-Games. Still, skateboarding isn't as easy as everyone makes itlook. In the time that I've been skating, I have broken 12 bones and dislocatedmy right knee three times.

More and more people started hanging around the skatepark. It was finally getting the population it deserved. If it weren't for thatskate park, I never would have met some of the best friends I could have everasked for.

Two months ago, my five close friends and I were skateboarding in themiddle school parking lot when we saw a group of sixth graders watching us. Wewent over to talk to them, and they started their lessons that Saturday at threeo'clock sharp.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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