Alex Midler's Roll-A-Thon for Johnny Kicks Cancer
Photos: Jim Thiebaud & Robert Brink
Alex addresses the crowd at go time.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m sore. Real sore. And, despite slathering myself with sunblock before the 19.2-mile trek along the ocean yesterday, I’m sunburnt. Worst farmer’s tan ever.
I’m goofy-footed. My left calf—the leg I push with—is twice the size and stiffness it was two days ago. I cannot walk without limping.
I have blood blisters on the tips of my left two middle toes. Every time I pop them they fill up again in a few hours.
My right upper thigh is still cramped. That started with about four miles left to skate.
My bad ankle, well, the worse of my two—the one I broke a year and a half ago—is swollen.
My left achilles feels like someone sliced it in half.
I’ve had a headache for the last 24 hours.
The ball and arches of my feet sting. My hips ache. There is no comfortable way to sleep or sit. In fact, I could barely sleep at all last night and my knees are grinding—cartilage gone.
Safe to say I won’t be skating for a few days, if not longer. Regardless of tomorrow’s scheduled massage and how much Advil I take.
Darin got a Romano tat and then had a bike crash that resembled this.
Jack was hyped!
I knew all this was going to happen. In fact, I thought it would be worse.
I’ve never skated 19.2 miles before. In fact, I’ve never tracked a long-distance skate in the 23 years I have been skateboarding—ever. But safe to say, this as the longest distance I've ever skated in one burst.
When I showed up at the beach in Santa Monica yesterday at 11 am, people asked me if I was seriously going to attempt the first-ever 18 mile (turned out to be 19.2) Alex Midler Roll-A-Thon for the Johnny Kicks Cancer foundation while riding my 50mm Spitfire Street Burner wheels.
“Yeah,” I said. “This is how I always skate, why change it now?”
My mistake of a setup.
Cargo! The bananas took a beating when Darin slammed, though.
Most everyone had bikes or cruiser wheels put on their boards. It made me kinda nervous actually.
When I started the skate and saw that the bike paths were covered in sand and that the roads we had to take while not on the path were way rougher than I was led to believe, I got even more nervous. I’d definitely bit of more than I could chew on this one. Had to go be all brave and ride normal wheels and shit…
Fuck it. The truth is … I lost my father to cancer almost 10 years ago. We lost Johnny three years ago. Anything I was about to endure is nothing compared to the fights that my father or Johnny put up. And nothing compared to what the families of anyone struggling with cancer are going through or have gone through. Hell, I know 18 year olds who are in Iraq right now, risking their lives digging up roadside bombs.
All that considered, 19 miles isn’t much.
Not so smooth
5 miles in, a multiple bike/board pile-up left Alex with a large egg on his head. He carried on though!
Biggs was the filmer who came with the DLX crew. He was spent.
Rob Dyer puts us all to shame. He’s skated over 20 thousand miles and across a few continents to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
I guess the point is: there’s always someone out there somewhere, fighting and working harder than you and enduring so much more. So deal with whatever you're going through. Work through it. Get ‘er done. Grow and learn from it.
When I crossed the finish line yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t in good shape. But I didn’t really care. It was fun as all hell. I skated 19 miles for almost three hours straight, listening to my favorite music, on a beautiful day, with my friends—for an amazing cause.
And, more importantly, a kid one-third my age (Alex Midler is 12) inspired me to do so.
Together, everyone at the Roll-A-Thon raised about five thousand dollars for Johnny Kicks Cancer. But I think, more importantly, that this is just the beginning of something that will grow.
It’s part of why skateboarding rules. You should join us.
See you next time!
Stats! We all burned 1001 calories!