My weekend: active days and reflective nights.

More than a week has past since my last blog post, but I’ve been busy. My understanding is like everything the more consistent and regularly a blog posts are the better. Since it’s late, and I don’t want to spend too much time typing I’ll go with my bread and butter. And that is simply recapping my weekend. Yes, sometimes my blog is just a diary log.

Friday night I read. For work I have a book club on Monday, and I read a good portion of it on Friday.  Between chapters I would watch youtube music videos, skate videos, and checked facebook about thirty times. As winter approaches I’ll do this more, just have a nice lazy night in the comfort of my apartment.

Saturday I slept in and skated Flushing Meadows. I told my friend I’d meet him at the unisphere at 2:30.  I got there a little early and felt I couldn’t warm up.  Somehow a hoodie with only a t-shirt underneath felt drafty. There were a few whippersnapper teenage skaters filming. There were good, but cursed every time they missed a trick, and one kid focused (broke his board in half) for really no reason at all. I felt glad that I’m not a teenager anymore, but worried that my session would not be that great.  Before Saturday I did not skate for a full two weeks. When I don’t skate for a little bit my imagination becomes deluded of my skill level. I think I’m a lot better than I actually am. So when I do get skate reality sets in, and I feel I can’t do anything. It can take me up to a half hour for me to warm up. Warming up consists of rolling around, and not really trying much of anything. It takes me several minutes to even try kickflips, something I can do fairly consistently.

My friend came and quickly I started to enjoy my session. We stayed in the unishpere, and we both practiced nose slides.  For me the ledge is high, so I’m glad I can do them decently.  I sized up the grate, and there is no way I could noseslide across that whole thing. It’s like 15 feet across.  The speed needed to make that is ridiculous for me. I think the noseslides I was doing on other parts of the ledge were 3 to 4 feet tops. But I’m happy with that.  My friend and I played a game of s.k.a.t.e. that loosened me up to were I felt comfortable.

We walked to the skate park. The park was super crowded. I wanted to try a wall ride on the steep bank by the 3 step. On my second try I did it, and that was enough of the skate park. I didn’t even take off my jacket. Near the unisphere there is a little bank to ledge. To describe it to people that don’t skate is difficult but I’ll try.  It starts with a curb, but it’s lower that a curb, then there is a slope maybe at a 30 degree angle, and a small curb, edge on top.  It goes in maybe a foot and a half and might be a little over a foot high. You can approach it straight, ride up it, do something on the top, and roll down.  With this approach I did an ollie 180 to disaster, and revert out. I did a nosepicker on it.  After many tries I did a switch ollie 180 to rail, to revert out. My friend can skate transition, and did a lot of combos. For some reason, I like this spot, and feel confident on it. Approaching it like a normal ledge I did 50-50’s on it with decent speed. Instead of popping out of the 50-50, with the ledge you could roll out of it. Rolling out of a grind was fast and fun.

After that we skated in one of the rectangle fountains that is the size of a football field.  In another game of s.k.a.t.e the sun started to set. I took one picture here, because the stature with the unisphere in the background looked good. We could see the lights at the unishpere, and we walked over, and it was perfect. Bright lights flooded the entire famous spot. We skated in the lights for about 40 minutes. Someone put a focused board in a crack pointing straight up. My friend quickly rode up the board deck with a little pop. Quickly he did a 180 out of it. I never did anything like that, but he told me it was easy. I did a few of them, and even did a sloppy 180 off of it.  Saturday was a great skate day, to be out for 3 to 4 hours felt great. I went home and read the stories for my writing class Sunday.

On Sunday my story was work shopped in my writing class. The class did give some very positive encouragement while also giving me pointers too. A class has a lot of value, because as a writer you think of one way for a story. When several people read it, there are multiple scenarios for most stories. Also another student’s story work shopped was a revision. This revision was a complete rewriting of the original based on the structure, language suggestions from the first workshop.  This gave me a valuable lesson. My idea of revision is cleaning up the typos, fixing a sentence here and there. But revision looking at the whole story can be a complete change or rewrite.  I think I’m going to sign up for a class in winter. This class has inspired my writing. I had two completed drafts of fiction, when I haven’t written fiction in years.   I need to keep the momentum, and my goal is one story a month.

After class I took the E to downtown and went to the Tribeca skate park.  This is a small park and gets crowded easily. The level of some of these kids is amazing. They have rails and big ledges going down.  But I had few conversations and some of them were nice and seemed happy to be there.  For a little bit I watched, after a near collision, I decided to wait a bit.  It did clear out some. The obstacles in this park are not scary like the Chelsea Park, but they are big enough were I don’t try much new tricks.  On the euro gap I can ollie it okay, but last May almost fell on my face when I tried a frontside 180 over it. So I’m careful on that.  As the day progressed I warmed up, and simply practiced backside 180’s from the slope to flat. I’m not good at backside 180’s, but felt I got a few ones with decent height. On flat I barely have any height to them.  I also did a little noseslide to shove-it out.  Tribeca forces me to practice the basics.  Once in awhile that might be a good thing.  If you do the basics better, than everything will improve. One can only hope.

After that I read in a café for a little bit and then had great noodles with my sister for dinner.   My sister can really put things in perspective, and I’m happy I get to see her and my little nephew once a week. After that I came home. I finished The Assistant by Bernard Malamud for my work book club, and it should be a good discussion. Overall my weekend was good. I had two active days and reflective easy nights.

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