Jake Phelps was a man you loved or hated. In my previous life before head injuries, I loved Phelps and Thrasher. Post head injury I am not really sure where I stand on him. I get that he was a colossus of the industry and could make or break careers, but I could pretty much leave him. I understand that when someone dies, we should not disrespect them but I get the feeling that if I were to change my current feelings about Phelps that he himself would hate me for “selling out.”
In my previous incarnation, I love what Phelps stood for. Going all in and full commitment. It was as if he was always running around set to 11. I remember reading that he never fell back, he always fell forwards. Falling back for Phelps showed a hesitation, a lack of commitment.
Maybe, it is the fact that I can’t live that way anymore. I have changed, and perhaps I am jealous of that fact that he could manage to live that way up until his final day. Phelps was the person the 18-year-old me wanted to be, and now I’ve let myself down.
Maybe none of this is correct, and I’m just over analyzing everything based on my some form of prejudice? The thing we can’t take from him is that Jake Phelps personified skateboarding to a great many people. He was a true skate punk and never seems to have let anything get in the way of living life his own way.
Maybe we should all try and live a little that way.