In this young adult autobiography, Tony Hawk shares the stories from his life that have helped him become a skateboarding hero.
Hawk speaks of being a super-competitive ′demon′ child who found peace while on a skateboard. Classmates teased him because of his interest in an 'uncool' sport. Instead of retaliating with violence, he practised even more. With his story, he will inspire a younger generation of fans to stand up for what they believe in and follow their dreams.
About the Author
Tony Hawk is the bestselling author of Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder. In the 1999 X Games, Tony landed the first 900 degree arial turn in skateboarding history. A stunt he had been working on for years. He has released three video games for playstation: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. He lives in Carlsbad, California, with his wife and three children.
Sean Mortimer was the editor of Skate boarder magazine and coauthored Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder with Tony Hawk. He lives in Oceanside, California, with his wife and son.
Read an Excerpt
I was an accident. My mom laughs and shakes her head no whenever I say that, but it's the truth. She prefers to say I was a surprise. My parents, who were both in their forties when I came along, thought they'd finished raising kids. When my mom had me, she was in the middle of completing her college education and my dad worked as a salesman. My oldest sister, Lenore, was off at college, my other sister, Patricia, had just graduated from high school, and Steve, my brother, was twelve years old when I, the screaming baby wrapped in a blue blanket, came home.
I was an absolute nightmare for the first decade of my life. I began committing offenses when I was still in my crib and barely able to walk, but I never felt anything but love from my family.
Because my dad worked full-time and my mom was at school, they hired an elderly, sweet nanny to watch me. I knew she loved me, but I didn't like the fact that she had control over when I ate, slept, and played. One of my earliest memories is of trying to score a direct hit on her using any toy within my hand's reach. I'd often wake up in my crib just in time to spot her peering in on me. Whenever I saw her head of willowy white, I'd grab the nearest toy and launch it at her. I rarely succeeded in hitting her, but my trying was enough to make her quit.
I tortured a list of nannies and treated some better than others. But I treated my parents worst of all. My mom has dozens of embarrassing stories of me and my spastic temper. Once, when she told me I was old enough to sleep in my own bed, in my own room, I thought differently and decided to take matters into my ownhands. When I thought my parents were asleep, I began the first stage of my special operations mission. I got on my hands and knees and crawled below my parents' line of sight, or so I thought. I slinked down the hallway like a worm. Slowly and somewhat quietly, I pushed open the door to their room. Staying low, I silently crept to the edge of the bed, ready to crawl up quietly and sneak in under the covers. When I looked up to start my climb, Mom was there staring me down. I shook my fists at her, knowing my plan had been foiled. As I crawled back to my room, I swore in my mind to extract revenge at a later date.
Another time soon after, my parents sent me to bed early -- probably so that they could get some well-deserved, relaxing time to themselves. I was so annoyed that I had to go to sleep while they were still up having fun, that I yanked all the sheets, pillows, and blankets off my bed. Carrying everything down the hall, I sat on the stairs and one by one threw everything at them. A shower of bedding rained down on them while they watched TV and just pretended not to notice.
My parents had to stop having guests over, because they couldn't predict how I would act. One time when I was about five years old, they thought I'd mellowed enough to invite some friends over. I ended up crawling on the table and upsetting the place settings, not to mention my parents. Needless to say, after that they didn't have any guests over for years.
No matter what I did, my parents still showered me with love. They were incapable of being disappointed with me. One of my parents' friends summed it up best when she told my mom she thought I was spoiled rotten.
"He's not spoiled rotten," my mom replied, "he's loved."
"Well, then he's loved rotten," the friend said.
The Great Escape
From the time I was two, I knew I had my parents wrapped around my finger. There weren't a lot of problems I couldn't solve with a massive temper tantrum. After a while, my parents always caved in to my demands. Naturally, I thought the whole world would be as easy to manipulate.
Cold hard reality smacked me in the face moments after my dad dropped me off at Christopher Robin Preschool. I was three and short for my age. I stared up at the tall chain-link fences that surrounded the school. They seemed as high as skyscrapers -- impossible to climb over to escape. I couldn't believe my parents would leave me in such a horrible place! The first day was the worst of my young life. Every day we had to run through a fire drill. We'd file outside and silently wait for instructions from the teachers. At lunchtime we were forced to sit with our head in our hands and keep silent for a minute before we ate. At that point, I don't think I'd ever maintained a full minute of silence.
The absolute worst torture the school inflicted on me was the forced nap time. I was hyper, to say the least, and I had to be running around, tapping my feet, or deeply involved in an activity or else I went bananas from boredom. I still have nightmares about trying to stay still on my sleep mat, squeezing my eyes shut as the teacher walked around checking on us. I never once fell asleep.
My terror of preschool became so great that one time my sister Lenore visited me at school and I grabbed her leg like a drowning person and wouldn't let go. I had to be pried off.
I knew I needed to get away from there, so after a few months I became obsessed with escaping. I devised a plan. I would cry. It wasn't rocket science or anything, but it worked with my parents, so I figured it would work with my teachers, too.Tony Hawk. Copyright © by Tony Hawk. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
|2||Spaz, That's Me!||11|
|4||Joining the Ants||23|
|5||No More Tears||29|
|7||Out of Style||43|
|8||The Bones Brigade||52|
|10||Check the Box||64|
|12||The Parent Trap||73|
|17||Winning Contests Is Not Always Fun||97|
|20||The Sky Is Falling!||112|
|21||A New Low||116|
|25||1999, the Year of the 9||139|
|26||The Good Life||144|
|Appendix||Tony's Top Tens||151|
What People are Saying About This
“An inside look at the molding of a great role model—there’s so much more than just the 900!”