Holy bleeping cow I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Every one that skates falls, part of the process of learning tricks is to fall. One time when I started back I realized in the times of my life that I did not skate I never fell. It’s character building to fall. Even in the 2008 election the current vice president always used the phrase, “When you fall down, you pick yourself up off the ground and do it again.” The late R & B singer Aaliyah had a hit tune with the chorus, “dust yourself off and try again.” This is quite a weekend that I think was a beneficial skate time, and I’ll be raging in no time.
Friday night I got home from work and went to the gym. In the past few weeks I started running on the treadmill. The treadmill to me feels like so much more exertion than the elliptical or the bike. I started at a 5.5 mile per hour pace which is about an 11 minute mile. Every few minutes I increased it steadily. My last increase after 16 minutes was to 7.6 mile per hour or slightly less than an 8 minute mile. I did 20 minutes and this made me sweat and pant like crazy. Ten years ago when I was a runner I could go long distances at a faster pace than that. I think if you step away from anything, you lose it, and I need to get my fitness back. If I don’t get in good shape now as each year passes it’ll be harder to do so. After the running I did light lifting for my legs, chest, and triceps.
On Saturday morning I slept until one, when I woke up I could tell I was sore. On my way to the Astoria skate park, I stopped by my barber shop. I am a very impatient person, I actually was mad at the kid getting a haircut because my time was being wasted. After an eternity, perhaps 10 minutes, it was my turn to get a haircut. I decided to have my beard shaved and a trim. So my winter beard is now gone, and this is a good way to celebrate spring in my self absorbed-delusional mind. As always I got a good haircut from my barber, got a coffee and some dollar menu selections from McDonalds, and was on my way.
Astoria Skate Park is great. However it was quite crowded on the Saturday with perfect weather for skating. I’m glad that I was able to ollie down the four steps that for me seem a little long. A lot of skating is just having enough speed and committing to it. I don’t think I’m going to start throwing myself off high or big steps, but it is fun to ollie down little drops. My friend and I skated for a little while, but felt it was too crowded. Crowded skate parks can be frustrating because you have to look out where you go, and you don’t want to collide with anyone. So we went up to a flat ground play ground by the subway.
I think we were there for a couple of hours, another friend joined us, and we mostly skated flat. I felt sore from the gym for most of the time. I already ride with loose trucks but I decided to try them even looser. I think that is when I started falling. I would try a trick and when I landed my board would shoot out and I would slam on my elbow or side. On one fall somehow I ended up flat on my stomach. I fell more than usual. On a good note my friend and I were trying backside kick flips, and after several tries we both got it. Also chatting with my two friends about all sorts of skate stuff and other topics was cool. One of my friends bought a new skateboard. We were trying tricks over it, and this little kid, maybe about 5 kept looking at the board. The mother asked if he could skate it, and my friend said sure. This kid pushed around for like 40 minutes, and the little kid looked like he enjoyed it. As we were leaving my friend told the mom and kid that he could have the board. Perhaps we’ll see that kid ripping in Astoria when we go there. Saturday was so fun. I think the Astoria Skate Park and then that flat ground spot which I think is called Hoyt Park is a great combo.
Saturday night I went out with a friend locally. In the past few months I realized a few colleagues or people in my library world moved near Rego Park, and it’s great to see these friends regularly to discuss things going on. It’s nice not to have to commute an hour to socialize. So Saturday night was fun but an early night
Now we move on to Sunday. I woke up around noon, and decided it would be great to skate the L.E.S. skate park that I have not been to in awhile. I got a text from my friend, and he thought L.E.S. would be good as well. The subway routes had something against me today. Normally the F train goes right there, but today the F line became the A line in lower Manhattan. I usually don’t bash MTA because they get me to work everyday on time, but I think on weekends I need to check the route changes for longer trips. On the train I had a decision to make, get off in the lower west side or continue to Brooklyn to double back on the right train line. I decided to get off in the lower west side. The streets were kind of crowded so I mostly walked but I did skate some of it. I think I got there in less than half an hour. Some of it was annoying to walk through crowded China Town, but this is actually a good thing. It means that on some days I could start my session at the Tribeca Skate Park and then scoot over to L.E.S. Park. From Tribeca you can shoot up to the Chelsea Park easily as well. That is good for future days. The majority of times I’ll skate in Queens, but to hit two parks in Queens on the same day would be time consuming.
I got to L.E.S. and it was not crowded at all. This was a popular park even last year, but I think with the newer parks less people go there. On one level I can understand why it is not the favorite park; there is always a layer of dirt there. It is right underneath the Manhattan Bridge, and some people say that the dirt comes from the bridge. It is kind of gross and I’ve heard skaters recommend not wearing white shirts there because the shirts get ruined. It is filthy, but the obstacles are a lot of fun. In 2008 I injured my ACL on the pyramid there, so I take it easy on that. But there are various ledges and manual pads. My session was kind of rough being twice as sore as the day before. On a low manual pad I approached with speed, and then when I ollied into the manual I did not have enough height. I hung up on the ledge and did a somersault type of fall. That was a session ender for me, and I have a bruise almost the size of a golf ball on my forearm. But it was good to skate two days in a row, and the more time put in the better. My friend is getting better and did some good things at the session. On the way to the subway station we saw an empty lot, and played a very lackadaisical game of s.k.a.t.e.
I ended the weekend by having dinner with my sister and month old nephew. My big sister even had an ice pack for my forearm. The little guy seems to be changing every week, this week he kept his eyes open for much longer periods. This is how I want to spend my weekends.
I might save this for another blog entry, but I made a decision. My focus now will be skating, getting in shape, and I’m going to start doing library advocacy. These are things I feel I can make improvements on my own, and contribute to my profession that I feel is important. Writing is going to be on the back burner. I’ll continue my blog, but writing a novel or things for publication is such a lofty goal, that at the moment I don’t even want to attempt it. I want to do things that I can improve at, and become good at.