Saturday, May 28, 2011

Losing Skin

A few weeks ago I totally blew it. I was taking a nice cruise on my longboard with Ethan; first real skate of the year. We went to the regular spot; just a little neighborhood up against the mountain with enough slope to hit 35 mph if you get into a proper tuck and take it straight on. With months of garbage weather I had not skated for quite some time, aside from an occasional pushing cruise down my street, which, if you have ever skated over 25 mph, you might agree is not that exciting anymore.

Anyway, on just my second ride down the sloped street, at about 30 mph, I caught some heavy speed-wobbles. That is what you call that moment when the board is uncontrollably shaking back and forth under your feet. If you don't know how to stabilize while in motion (a technique I have not mastered), you WILL get bucked off. Now, I have fallen many times. I know very well how to bail at that speed. I would normally fall forward on my hands and knees (gloves with thick plastic and knee pads) and ride it out. No pain, no problem. But this time, i totally panicked. I decided to stand up and try to run it 30 mph. What am I, Superman? No, I am not. I cannot run 30 mph. As soon as my left foot touched the ground I was down. My left hip and both elbows took the entire impact of the asphalt. As soon as I hit, I knew I would be feeling it. The results were captured in photos, though I have chosen not to post those photos here. They are a bit gruesome. I'll just say I lost some serious arm skin and ended up with an enormous bruise on the left. The wounds had a difficult time healing, but have finally mended. The human body's ability to heal is truly remarkable.

This was by far my worst wreck to date, but one I can look back upon as a lesson learned. I am not indestructible. And now that I am finally healed up enough, and have picked up some new knee pads and added elbow pads to my collection of safety gear, I am anxious to try again...but I will most likely keep it to 20 mph for a bit and work back up to the 30 plus. I owe it to my elbows.