Saturday, October 10, 2015

A stunt skater I am not

I know, and you are right, it was a dumb idea.
I also know I will have to narrow that down a little as I have more dumb ideas than a politician (if that's possible).
The dumb idea in question was from a few years back when I took my kids to a local skateboard park.
No, I did not jump on a skateboard after a 30-year absence and hurt myself - that would be really dumb.
Instead, I threw on my in-line skates and hurt myself.
While the kids were rolling along doing all sorts of neat little tricks, I was calmly skating my way around the outer perimeter of the skateboard park.
I watched as they went up the quarter pipe and down and around and thought, “That doesn't look so hard.”
I have been ice skating since I was about five years old, so I feel quite comfortable on in-line skates, and this is where the dumb idea began to form.
Slowly, I skated closer and closer to the quarter pipe, while my brain lied to me and told me I could do it.
“C'mon, you played hockey for years. You are a master on skates. What's the difference between ice or cement?” challenged that little red, horned guy on my shoulder.
“How tough can it be for a super jock like yourself. You can do it. Go for it stud.”
The white guy with the halo on the other shoulder was trying to offer a cautionary word or two, but the red guy was making such a convincing argument.
“C'mon big man, you can do it. Go up, go down, it will be great. People will be amazed at your skating ability, especially for such an old guy.”
By now I was feeling pretty darned good about my skating prowess and even in my late 30s I knew I possessed the skills of a life-long stunt skater.
“I can do it,” I thought.
The plan was to start slow. I would just go part-way up the ramp, turn and come back down.
No problem, I can do it.
Once I completed the little warm up stunt, I would graduate to more challenging moves and before you know it, I will be the oldest guy in the X Games.
I can do it.
Apparently I couldn't do it. In fact, I could not even come close to doing it. In fact, I only made it less than two feet up the ramp when I realized I should have listened to the little white dude with the halo, who was now sitting back with a rather smug look on his face.
I quickly learned the difference between skating on a nice flat sheet of ice, and in-line skating up a sloped ramp.
My leading skate hit the bottom of the half-pipe and decided it would be best to go north while the rear in-line skate went east sending my stunt south.
I also learned I do not bounce like I used to. Instead of bouncing off the ground, getting up and going again like I did as a young lad, I landed with a thump that held absolutely no bounce at all.
I didn't even slide or anything, just - WHAM – and down I was.
I got up and tried to look cool, which wasn't too hard because people (much younger people) were falling around the place all the time.
The truly hard part was not showing how much pain I was in. I had a bruise on my hip that covered roughly 48 per cent of my body.
That will happen when you thud rather than bounce.
The pain in my hip could have been a lot worse had I not used my wrist, elbow and shoulder to break the fall. Fortunately the fall was all that was broken that day.

Copyright 2015, Darren Handschuh

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