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Michael J. Fox Gets His First Tattoo And It Has A Sentimental Meaning

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Michael J. Fox is proving that it is never too late to get inked.

This week, the Back to the Future star took the plunge and got his first-ever tattoo at the age of 57.

"First tattoo, sea turtle, long story," he captioned a photo of his fresh new ink on Instagram.

The design, which was brought to life by celebrity-approved tattoo shop Bang Bang, is of a black-and-white sea turtle that's missing a part of its right fin. The animal is swimming through five rings, perhaps indicating that it's travelling through a time portal.

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First tattoo, sea turtle, long story

A post shared by Michael J Fox (@realmikejfox) on

To show his appreciation, Fox gifted the parlor's owner Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy and his tattoo artist, Mr. K. a signed pair of Nike Mags sneakers and a hover-board. The rare items were inspired by Fox's character in Back to the Future II.

The actor didn't reveal the significance of his tattoo, but McCurdy was able to spill the beans to Inked magazine, explaining that the sea turtle holds a special place in Fox's life.

"He was telling me that there was a transformation for him with his career decisions when he was swimming in Saint John," McCurdy said. "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," he added. "So that turtle was pretty significant to him."

Fox has been battling Parkinson's disease since 1991, but he kept his diagnosis a secret until 1998. Although it did have an impact on his career and life, he has been able to overcome many of the challenges over the years.

"It was pretty scary," he told David Letterman a few years ago. "I was 29 years old and so it was the last thing I expected to hear. I thought I'd hurt my shoulder doing some stunt because I had a twitch in my pinkie. And the doctor said 'You have Parkinson's disease.' He said, 'The good news is that you have 10 years of work left'. That was 22 years ago and I'm still working."

He continued, "I just knew I was going to have to make adjustments and I didn't know what I was gonna have to adjust to. But to be corny about it, once you accept it and you learn about it and you realize you're part of a community and you realize you're in a position to do something and to make a difference and to help, well then it's just like, quit your b***hin' and get on with it."

In a 2017 interview with AARP, Fox revealed that he has both good and bad days, but he has learned to deal with them in his own unique way. Luckily, the day he got his tattoo was one of the good ones, and the tremors didn't get in the way.

"I think that he did really well," McCurdy said. "This is something that can affect him really heavily or not as much, but he had a great day."

What do you think of Fox's tattoo?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.