Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Dabble Into Long Boarding!


My son, Joseph, invited me to go on an outing with him on the local river trail.  It was about 50 degrees outside, which to us was tropical weather after the cold winter we've had.  So he got on his trusty longboard and I on my bike and off we went.  He says he would be considered average on a longboard, certainly not a "skater" type.  But I think he's really good! 

   I enjoyed watching him glide along the fairly smooth trail, his hands casually shoved into his jean pockets and when there was an occasional bump, he would jump slightly with the board to get over, with as little impact on the board as possible.  We went for about a mile and a half, with me just kind of coasting on the bike and not working up much of a sweat.  In contrast, as we were coming back, I noticed that Joseph was definitely working up a sweat.  I realized that pushing off and gaining momentum on a long board can be quite the anaerobic exercise!  
   Somehow I found myself on the long board and Joseph on the bike.  He was a great instructor,  telling me how to push off and how to line up my feet.  I found out that indeed, it takes a lot of work to push off and obtain a workable speed.  Having some sense of balance is certainly key.  I longed to be as good as my son and be able to glide gracefully along, looking so nonchalant, as if it were effortless.  Unfortunately, my movements were rather choppy and spastic, more akin to an old-time silent picture movie, where all the actors look robotic.  I would obtain a glide for all of  2 feet and find that I needed to once again push for momentum.  I hadn't been doing it for even 10 minutes, and I was sweating like a pig.  And darn those bumps where roots from the trees along the path extend out under the trail and break up the asphalt.  Somehow you need to clear those!  Joseph did so effortlessly, and when he told me to just go over them instead of getting off the board and walk across, I obediently attempted to do just that.  Unfortunately, I was not as successful as Joseph.  My board seemed to catch on the jagged lip of the bump and just stalled out.  I, on the other hand, lurched awkwardly forward, landing in an incredibly awkward and painful position, my left leg twisted under me going one direction and my right leg going in the opposite direction.  Crap!  Not my bad knee, the one I have been babying along for 2 or 3 years now, after a previous, equally awkward fall on the ski slopes.  It has never healed back to its original, healthy state.  Now, here I was, with a re-injury and in my mind, probably more serious.  I lay there on the pavement yelping and crying in misery and Joseph standing there in dismay and concern.  I had the luxury of laying there to collect myself without any passers by.  I would have gotten up quickly just because of embarrassment if anyone had come by!  After a few minutes I got up and dusted myself off, hopped on the bike and off we went. 
    We stopped on the way home to say hello to some horses and when I got off the bike, my leg wouldn't support me and kept buckling under my weight.  Not a good sign!  
    It is the day after the event and I haven't been out of my pj's all day.  I didn't walk the dog and I lounged around in bed reading, after I was served breakfast in bed, which was definitely a perk of the whole unfortunate episode.  Thankfully, I have one more day to recover before the work week begins.  Hopefully nothing got torn and I will be back to full throttle soon!
   But what this is telling me is that my days of reckless abandonment with trying new things may be almost over.  I want to keep the mobility I have and not wreck the great quality of life I enjoy.  I have to think of the consequences more than the immediate gratification I might have when trying fun and exciting physical challenges.  It's rather sad to come to that point and a far cry from when I got on the ski slope for the first time.  (Wow, another story for another time!)  I'm glad that it was with Joseph when the realization arrived.  But never say never!  Even now, I feel the need to prove myself.  I like the board I found above!  Ironically, they are called 'Old Lady Skate Boards'.  I can tell you one thing, I'd rather be the old lady riding the board than the old lady ruining other people's fun, like this lady!    Stay safe!  Live life to the fullest but be wise!

K coop and Judi Oyama Hawaii Photo Dano 
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