June 2008 Archives

Tue Jun 24 20:49:04 CDT 2008

Skating Results so far

So after about three weeks of skating, i've:
  • cracked rib
  • opened what feels like a 2" gash on the back of my head
  • fallen on my left butt cheek so hard i thought i'd permanently damaged my spine
  • so exhausted my hip flexors that i cannot cross my legs without picking them up with my hands
  • so worn out my lower back that i'm walking around like a stooped over grandpa

It's great. :)

The first two i did at the ditch near my house. The last three i did at Mabel Davis. I went there Sunday evening and just watched. There are some very good skaters there -- they make it look easy. I went back when it'd be less crowded, about 12 hours later, ~06:30 Monday.

Another skate venue will open at Patterson park. Looks more like a half pipe rather than the bowl at Mabel.

So i was figuring this is my non-conscious brain's (cheaper than buying a red convertible) way of dealing with the "turning 40" (perhaps midlife) crisis. Ironically, it may turn out to actually be productive (especially in contrast with a convertible) in that i now feel much older (or, arguably, "my age"), at least physically. I'm in OK shape for someone my age, but i am not in the same shape as i was at 17 when i was skating a half-pipe. And its unlikely i'll ever have those reflexes again. But if i keep skating, i'll get to exercise all those muscles that bicycling does not, and maybe actually end up in better shape than otherwise. And by comparison to bicycling, skateboarding is far less efficient, so more calories burned! :)

Skating is also restoring some powers of concentration that had atrophied over the years. I can't skate (without falling on my head) if i'm letting thoughts about work or blondes* or whatever randomly pop into my mind. I just have to focus on what i'm doing and let all of that drop away. It's very meditative, in a sort of insane way. I think i've internalized the act of cycling so much that i think about other things while i do it, especially how not to get hit by cars. There's a very logical, cranial component to cycling, in dealing with the cars. When i'm skating in the ditch or park, i need to let my "animal" brain take over and deal with the balance, timing, and reflex issues, and that means ignoring the "rational" brain's chatter.

Pain, or fear of pain, turns out to really help me focus in this way.

*How i cracked the rib.

Posted by johan | Permanent link | File under: skateboarding, randomweirdness