Michael J. Fox gets first tattoo at age 57, choosing a sea turtle design
Michael J. Fox is showing off his new ink.
The Back to the Future actor revealed on Wednesday that he had received his first tattoo at the cult New York parlor Bang Bang Tattoo. For the design, Fox, 57, opted to get a sea turtle swimming through five rings on his forearm.
“First tattoo, sea turtle, long story,” he captioned the shot posted to his Instagram.
To show his gratitude, Fox gifted the owner, Keith ‘Bang Bang’ McCurdy, and his tattoo artist, Mr. K, a hover-board and a pair of gray and white Nike Mags sneakers.
The rare items, which were inspired by Fox’s character in Back to the Future II, were later signed by the actor.
Mr. K and the well-known tattoo parlor, which has been frequented by several stars including Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, and Cara Delevingne, also shared posts about the experience on Instagram.
“Represents his life and himself. Can’t decide how I feel today @realmikejfoxit was an honor,” Mr. K captioned the post, alongside a photo of the pair together and a video of Fox signing the pink hover-board.
“For @realmikejfox thank you for the trust as well as letting us fan out a bit after!” the tattoo parlor said in a separate post. “Thank you for sharing the story of your tattoo with me. Keep following that turtle.”
As for why Fox chose a sea turtle to be permanently drawn on his body, McCurdy explained to Inked Magazine that the sea reptile held a special significance to the actor.
“He was telling me that there was a transformation for him with his career decisions when he was swimming in Saint John,” the Bang Bang owner shared with the publication. “He spotted this turtle with a chunk missing from its fin and a scar on his face. And that turtle let him swim with him for about a half an hour.”
“He made a transcending decision right after that,” McCurdy added. “So that turtle was pretty significant to him.”
The star has battled Parkinson’s disease since 1991. At first, he did so privately but went public with his diagnosis in 1998. Parkinson’s is a disorder that causes uncontrollable tremors throughout his body.
Despite the challenges that come with such a diagnosis, McCurdy said Fox did not face any difficulties when getting the tattoo.
“I think that he did really well,” McCurdy revealed to the magazine. “This is something that can affect him really heavily or not as much, but he had a great day.”
In March 2017, Fox appeared on the cover of AARP The Magazine and opened up about how he deals with his disease, revealing that he laughs nonstop at himself when things don’t go as planned, particularly when trying to deliver a cup of coffee to his wife of 30 years, Tracy Pollan.
“The truth is that on most days, there comes a point where I literally can’t stop laughing at my own symptoms,” he said.
“Just the other morning I come into the kitchen,” he explained. “I pour a cup — a little trouble there. Then I put both hands around the cup. She’s watching. ‘Can I get that for you, dear?’ ‘Nah, I got it!’ Then I begin this trek across the kitchen. It starts off bad. Only gets worse. Hot java’s sloshing onto my hands, onto the floor.”
He continued, “But the thing that makes it hilarious to me is when I think of someone else watching all this and thinking, ‘Poor Michael can’t even get the coffee — it’s so sad!’”
This story originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.