Today was overcast and tonight it rains so I’m going to write about this past weekend. The weather was perfect, in the fifties or sixties and sunny. My only real obligation was to finish a book for a work book club. I was able to finish that late Sunday night and got out on both Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night I worked out at the gym. It was an easy workout of simply 20 minutes on the stationary bike and then weights for my shoulders. I decided with the gym just to average 3 times a week, and on some weeks that will be less. Last week I went to the gym on Tuesday and Friday. But I skated all day Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. I think with the gym if I always try to go on the same days and I miss a day that is an excuse to stop. I’m hoping being a little more flexible and trying not to let more than 3 days pass between workouts, I’ll be more consistent. Just going to the gym Friday put me in a better mood.
On Thursday, which I had off for Veterans Day, I skated the Astoria Park all day. It was fun but I felt I could do better. I kept messing up on my manuals, or wheelies, and didn’t get in a grove because it was so crowded. On Saturday I got there around 1:30 to 2:00 and was there until about 4:30. I think since not much time lapsed since my last session, the skating felt good. My manuals were more consistent. I also felt more consistent with ollieing the 3 step and 4 step stairs. For years I’ve avoided drops of any kind in fear of my knee. The Astoria Park is nice because the steps are not that high or far, so I’ve gotten used to them. I am still hesitant to try tricks down steps yet. I’m sure I’m capable of kickflipping down the 3 step, but I don’t think it’s worth a bad landing. Also on Saturday and from the previous weekend I’ve started doing noseslides with more speed. It is a basic trick and does not get much props but it feels good going faster. I think all skating tricks feel better going faster, but somehow I don’t like going super fast while doing tricks. I think you have to be confident that you can land your tricks, because the faster you go the harder you can fall. I think skating can occupy me for years as a hobby, because there is so much variety and always something to work on.
On Saturday I saw Steve Rodriguez skating at Astoria and I think some of the 5boro skate team. This pro and company owner has done a lot for New York City skating by getting a lot of these parks built. It’s kind of cool that the person that designed Astoria Skate Park skates it with whoever happens to be there. At some point I should try a 5boro skate deck in support of what they’ve done for skating here.
Also on Saturday one of my friends joined me to skate. I met him before I tore my ACL and was out for a year. In the past month I’ve skated with him 3 times, after not seeing him much for awhile. It’s fun to have people to call up to skate, and be friends with skaters. Growing up skating you would call up and skate with friends on a daily basis. That does not happen as adults, but it’s good to see friends occasionally and see them progress too. My friend did a 50-50 down a crazy ledge, and that was cool to see. On Saturday night I hung out with my roommate and then read like a 100 pages in that book club book. I don’t blog about work, but I do put in an effort to do my best.
Sunday I let myself sleep in a little bit. I decided to check on the new Tribeca Skate Park in lower Manhattan. I saw pictures of this on the internet and thought it looked right up my alley. It is part of the new Pier 25 on the Hudson in the Tribeca area. I got there and the first thing I noticed was that the park is small. However the pictures on the web made the obstacles look small too. I felt the obstacles looked bigger than the pictures I saw. Basically it was too crowded for the space. I got to do some things. I was able to pop decent ollies on the euro gap, and did fast noseslides on the bank to ledge. I was happy with the noseslides because the ledge on top of the bank was over knee height. Also there was a three step that I felt was longer and higher than the one at Astoria Park. I was able to ollie that with ease too. That was about all I was able to do, it seemed like I couldn’t focus enough because every time I tried to do something someone would get in my way. I’m sure I got in people’s way too. That is just how it goes when a park is too crowded. I find it very distracting to have to stop and go being careful when you push or drop in. Perhaps it also gives me anxiety, because collisions can be worse than falling on your own. This park is so small that you can’t find an out of the way corner to practice tricks on flat or anything. Astoria has much more people skating but because it’s so much larger I think you can find space there. At the Tribeca park I saw Steve Rodriguez again and another NYC pro Billy Rohan. They seemed relaxed with their skating and hung out. They skated well and a lot of other people skated well too. It seems that every time I go to skate parks in New York City I see phenomenal skating. I think the adults that never stopped are super good, and a lot of these kids are a lot more consistent with technical tricks than I or my friends were back in the 1990’s. So I think on days like Sunday when I’m not really feeling the session or improving it’s okay for me to take a timeout and be a spectator for a little bit. I definitely want to improve, but I think I should observe more at these parks too.
At the end of my session I noticed that the sun was setting. Pier 25 is right on the water. The skatepark is near the street but a pier deck goes a few hundred feet into the Hudson. I witnessed an amazing sunset. I took a few pictures on my cell and one of them is at the top of this blog. I walked to the end of the Pier 25. They made a kid’s super playground, and kid’s soccer field, a volley ball courts, and a deck at the end of the Pier. Passing the playground the parents just looked like money, the whole yuppie appearance in full effect. I think skating has come a long way to be included in a playground for the financial district. Even in my jealous mood I found the Pier pleasant and I decided I like sunsets on water, any body of water with a sunset is alright. The good ending to my weekend was dinner my sister, which I feel fortunate to be able to see a family member regularly.