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The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself Paperback – August 2, 2005
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About the Author
Rodney Mullen is a former freestyle world champion with the best contest record in professional skating. He’s credited with laying the foundation for street skating and was voted the 2002 Skater of the Year. And he hates horses. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife.
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.
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Thanks for sharing Rodney!
This book is his autobiography, a story which reveals so much more about the man who is responsible for more of modern skateboarding's development than most pro skaters involved in the sport today. It's also a very inspiring story about Mullen's own personal challenges with family, personality disorders and many challenges that helped to shape him into the man he became.
It was not long into reading that Rodney reveals himself to be the very intelligent but socially awkward person that initially led him to the skateboard culture as a kid. We also see how his character is shaped by the influence of a very driven and structurally rigid father who pushes him to excel in life to the point of eventually mandating Rodney's retirement from professional skateboarding at age 16 because he decides it's taking over too much of Rodney's life and doesn't hold a future for him. We read as Rodney learns how to cope with these and many other challenges and eventually becomes a multimillionaire through co-founding one of the most successful skateboard companies of the 90's and continues to cast an influence over the skateboarding industry well into the new millennium, a full 30 years after he first stepped foot on a skateboard.
"The Mutt" is a casual read and took me only three and a half weeks to complete, compared with a book of similar size that took me more than three months to finish before reading this one. Rodney clearly has the writing style of an analytical thinker, recounting vivid details of his life in a meaningful story telling fashion. At time I could barely put it down without reading three to four chapters at once.
As a high school teenager I remember being introduced to Rodney Mullen via pictures in skateboarding magazines. I'll never forget that one of my favorite skateboarding videos was the Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song video in late 90's. It was really exciting to dig back into so many memories of my own past as I read about someone who influenced my growing up in a small way. After reading his story, it became clear that his influence was actually not as small as I thought.
Particularly encouraging about this book is the way Mullen describes the learning process he's gone through in life with regard to dealing with problems, or more specifically learning to deal with them. I know that many young people in the skateboarding community use their sport as an outlet. While outlets can certainly be positive, they often serve instead as a way of not dealing with life problems. In this book Rodney shows how he had actually exhibited that same pattern, but over time began to learn how to deal with the many issues in his life rather than just avoiding them through skating.
I would very much recommend this book to anybody who's been involved with skateboarding in their lifetime as you will certainly appreciate the story of Rodney Mullen. I'd also recommend this as a good read for people who simply appreciate seeing how others resolve many of life's common struggles. You won't be able to put it down quickly.
Above all else I found it motivational and inspirational. Thanks Rodney Mullen (and Sean Mortimer).
PS: The subtitle is brilliant.