I will make this one short, so I can go to asleep soon. I had a great weekend and this entry will recap my past two days.
Friday night I got home and even though I did not feel up to it, I went to the gym. Afterwards I felt refreshed and happy that I’ve been steady with going to the gym for three weeks now. The saying is that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit so hopefully this is a start. This week I started the two week running cycle on the treadmill and I think I get a better workout when I do that. But I’ll stay to my plan of doing two weeks on the bike, two running, and then two on the elliptical. That way I’ll mix it up. My major problem is that I go for a month or two and then stop for several months.
Back to Friday night, I was just hanging out with my roommate and the bell rang. It was our mutual friend Joe who is getting married next month. The surprise visit was fun. After a half hour Joe and my roommate went out for a few. I passed, but was in a good mood. That night I wrote I think one of my strongest blogs yet, and that was the critique of the New York Times article about aging skaters. I think bashing an article is an easy thing to do, but I knew my subject. Earlier in the day when I read the article it made me mad and I thought quite a bit about it. That felt good, and a few people that night liked it and commented on it on the link I put on facebook to it, which was nice.
On to Saturday which was a day that I slept in. After making coffee and hanging out for a little bit I went skating at Forest Park. When I got there I noticed the park was relatively empty. After I started skating I noticed the heat. I also noticed my legs were sore from my 3 treadmill workouts during the week. Sometimes it takes me a long time to warm up, and Saturday was no exception. I struck up a few conversations with some of the skaters. Everyone at Forest Park is relaxed once you spend some time there. As the day progressed I would do a few tricks and then sit for a little bit. I noticed everyone else kind of did the same. I think the heat just sapped the energy out of everyone. But it was around noon, which is early for skater time. I got a large water bottle and as I drank it I thought that it was actually a good size to practice ollies over. It was maybe a foot high, and as I finished it I thought why not. It fell over a bunch of times, and then I got the genius idea to fill it partially with water from the fountain. It worked and stood upright. I could ollie it easy, but I think it is good practice and did it over and over. I did a switch 180 over it which I’m happy with. I landed on the bottle trying to switch ollie it, but it did not break, amazing. I got a switch ollie but I think I cheated by going on the side of it instead of over it. Finally I tried kickflipping it. As far as I know this a more height than I do for my regular kickflips. On a few bails I cleared it solidly. I landed one but I think I veered to the side of it, instead of over it. But still, this is improvement that I’m doing and I have potential to do my kickflips higher. By this time it was around 2, and more skaters had shown up. There are quite a few skaters there that are good, and do all sorts of ledge tricks, and the same people regularly go there. I’ve seen some kids’ progress over the course of a year that I’ve been going too. So in most cases I’m going to skate there, it’s the most convenient, and most of the time I enjoy myself there.
I went home, showered, and checked the computer. I got emails from both of my uncles about my blog which was really nice. I emailed them both back and forth a few times. I talked to my parents for about a half an hour, and even talked to my busy sister who lives in Chicago. I’m glad I’m connected with my family even though we don’t all live in the same cities.
Saturday night we went two blocks from our apartment to Woodhaven House for a heavy metal cover band. Several of our friends came out, and it was fun. I have not had a night out in awhile, because I did not drink for about a year. I’m trying this moderation thing, and have not gone overboard yet. I stayed out too late, but it was nothing compared to how I was two years ago. I think hanging out and socializing is a good thing, and now that I’m more responsible I should get out there. I flirted with a few random women, I did not get any phone numbers, but I did not have drinks thrown in my face either. I improved in a lot of ways over the course of a year of sobriety, but my social life did not improve.
Okay now I’ll discuss my Sunday. I slept in. It was another hot day. I had to make a decision, go to Forest Park or go to a skate demo at the L.E.S. (lower east side) skate park. Since it was late I decided to go to the demo that started at three. I ate in a Rego Park diner and got on my way. It’s already a hike down there, but it took even longer because of route changes and delays. I got there in plenty of time though.
The demo was from the skate company Plan B. Plan B changed street skating with their super team in the early 1990’s. But the majority of the original team jumped ship in 1993 for another company called Girl Skateboards. After that Plan B disbanded. Years later, they was still such brand recognition a few original riders formed a new team with that name. Today Plan B is criticized for being mainstream and too commercial. The team tries to draw the biggest young talent, which they did in the early 1990’s. The big name skaters are Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwell, and P.J. Ladd.
I saw Pual Rodriguez at the Maloof Money Cup last month, and he skates so smooth. Today waiting for the demo for a long time Paul Rodriquez starting skating before the demo, along with everyone else on the course. There is a picnic table there that is relatively high. Most people simply skate the bench part of it. But he did several tricks on the top. He did them smooth and in a lot of cases on the first try. He is probably the smoothest skater I’ve ever seen.
The demo started and for whatever reason they focused on the pyramid and not the whole park. They skated the pyramid well, and I’m always amazed by the height good skaters get on their tricks. Pat Duffy did a tre flip over the whole box, and P.J. Ladd did a front side flip over it. A regular ollie would be a challenge for quite a few skaters, so seeing this was something. Pual Rodriquez did a bunch of tricks. I enjoyed it but noticed some clear space in the park. So I practiced my kickflips and cruised around. It is not good to carry a board all day without skating.
All the sudden the whole crowd ran to the stairs at the entrance of the park. The stairs are huge, it’s a double set, and I think the first is 5 stairs then about 4 feet of flat, and then four stairs. I don’t know if that’s right, but it’s huge. I think in all my times going to the L.E.S. park I’ve never seem anyone try it. I’m sure it’s been done many times, but it’s not an everyday thing. Ryan Sheckler is known mainstream for his reality TV show on MTV, and a lot of skaters do not like him. But he kickfliped that huge double set on his second try. Everyone there was pumped to see it. The end of the demo was Sheckler backside kickflipping the double set, it was impressive to see. After that I skated for about twenty minutes or so. I forgot how fun the L.E.S. park is, because I haven’t been in awhile. But it is filthy. It is right under the Manhattan Bridge and soot of some kind is all over the surface. The surface is black top which isn’t really the best. In twenty minutes of skating I got filthy. I left as they started the product toss. And I enjoyed watching such good skating, but I think actual skating is better.
After that I had good Mexican food with my sister, and I’m happy to have one family member here in New York City.
This blog ended not being so short. But it has been a good practice to evaluate why I felt this was such a good weekend for me.