Sunday, May 19, 2013

My affordable midlife crisis

I'm taking up skateboarding again. I don't remember when I stopped. I think it was because my deck got stolen out of my car when it was towed to the impound lot. There was no clear day or reason I put it aside.

Skating is risky. I have ankles I sprain regularly stepping wrong of flat land. I can't imagine commuting on crutches or touch typing at work if I sprain/break my wrists. I have a friend who got MERSA from road rash so now that is a possibility in my mind. I am older, much more bodily clumsy and totally vincible. Taking up skating again for me is a slightly foolish idea, but here I am again.

There are so many calming beautiful videos of longboarding on youtube. When I was an angst filled teen set on destruction (Destruction of property, me, time, society, what ever) the skate videos were all jerky, fast, trick filled and more often then not scored by The Offspring pre "Keep Them Separated". The longboarding videos are poetically slow and graceful totally offsetting the considerable speeds. My current favorite video has a singer songwritery plucky banjo thing going on. The whole package was so appealing. I could see my self just tooling around, lazily carving off speed from a shallow hill, not doing anything aggro that would compromise my ankles. Then a friend as a catalyst bought a board and I knew I had to be in too.

My new board arrived at work and I had to put it out of my head for the rest of the day, pretending that adventure wasn't waiting for me still boxed in the corner. I had to walk my new board from work to my parking spot near some public paths away from the downtown. I walked, occasionally giving the wheels a flick to hear the clean new bearings swish. I head into the park trying to find a flat spot away from embarrassing my self in front of the local teens. I push off, glide and bail. The trucks were shipped with the nut just on to hold the bushings in. I tighten them and roll off a bit further this time before I carve slightly, tip too far and my momentum is cut making me run it off. Tightening them again I give it another go and roll and roll and roll. I stiffly make it around with a few bails as a nod to valor (well, discretion). I am taught, every muscle is on alert as I cautiously head around the paths, but at the same time I feel really relaxed and free.

Later that night driving home from Murdercastle (the amazing BROS Rock Opera!) I stop at the lake and go for a ride. The path is smooth and I glide past the couples on dates, late night exercise enthusiasts using the playground equipment and the other elements hanging out keeping to them self. The warm, slightly humid, still air feels like a shirt out of the dryer and the only noise is the soft wheels on blacktop with the bearings hissing. I remember this from skating so many years ago but I didn't stop to enjoy it at the time.

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