Friday, 6 March 2009

Legends never fade

It can be hard to let go of our youth and embrace being older. I think as you approach 30, most people start to worry about whether they have done all the things they were meant to do and question where they are in life. I've certainly been guilty of this for a number of years and I'm not even 28 yet!! I've constantly battled between growing up and being mature and then wanting to saviour that one last big crazy adventure.

I guess you could call me a follower rather than a leader. I mean, I am independant and fairly stubborn, so if I don't want to do something I won't. But if someone is doing something fun and exciting and I'm offered the chance to join in, hell yeah, I'm there!

Now I have this friend, who I have mentioned before, The Boss. I've know the Boss on and off since I was about 8ish I guess. We became particularly close friends when we were about 18 and bonded over a love of the ocean , surfing and random (mis)adventures.

Many of our summers were spent road tripping at 2am on a Sat morning down to Devon to be there ready for the morning surf. We used to park up on the cliff, sleep in the back of a pick-up and wake up to see how the waves looked. My favorite memory of this was the morning we woke up in a car park in Croyde and drove out toward the cliff road to check out the 2 local breaks. The first sight that greeted us was a guy carrying his 10 foot longboard, that was now in 2 pieces! And this was only 9am!! Needless to say, that weekend consisted of some epic waves, some severe beatings, a few near drownings and a hell of a lot of adrenalin to keep us going! And through all of this, we pushed each other to new heights.

The Boss was one of those characters people would either love or hate. He played his cards close to his chest and was one of those people that when you were with them, the dazzling light they seemed to generate, would illuminate you too.

He used to open up to talk to me and I think it helped that I was always ready to go along with his latest adventure. Whether this be mountain biking through a flooded river, doing a day trip to Newquay or pretending to be pro South African and Australian Moto X riders when we went out and were chatting up girls!

As I have hinted at in earlier posts, this lifestyle can become self-destructive. There can be too much of a good thing and me and the Boss had no halfway switch, it was all or nothing for us. We lived for the maxim, go hard or go home. This was applied to not only, riding, surfing and adventures, but nights out too. Everything we did would be all or nothing. We would rather have a spectacular fail than live risk-free. It also meant we would have spectacular falling outs too.

The Boss had always been a bit 'loose' with his reliability and occasionally disappeared for months on end. But last year he vanished and the next time I heard from him, some months later, he was in the RAF. I have to admit, I do miss some of the crazy things we got up to, but I think it's probably the best thing he's ever done. He always came across as coolness personified, but underneath it all I think he had more worries and fears than the rest of us about what path he was taking through life. I'm glad he found something he seems to love doing and that gives him a purpose.

I guess it would be fair to say that if the Captain was the angel character in my life, then the Boss was the devil - not that I ever needed much persuading. I was down for whatever. But sometimes, however much fun it can be. Two people like that should not be put together for too long.

Whatever people think of another person, there is always room for interpretation and a different opinion. The Boss might not have been everybody's cup of tea, but to me he was a legend. I learnt life lessons off him from 18 to about 27. And when you get to know somebody that well and break through their barriers, I think it is a given that you accept them, flaws and all. Anytime he needs me I'll be there, he was like a brother.

Some people say that you have to go out in a blaze of glory to be a true legend. But I think some legends just continue to live and shine bright. Good luck Boss, go hard or go home.

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