Let’s face it, it’s not easy to swim in this murky water. I have no idea how deep it is and I can’t see the other side. I’m not even sure if I’m going towards this mystical other side. I sort of woke up shivering in the middle of the lake and it’s sink or swim. I thought about sinking. I think about it a lot, actually. But it’s not really a choice. The only thing to do is to put my head down, kick and crawl and splash and pant and keep my head down and kick and hope and not think about it. Every once in a while, I float on my back and look up at the blinding sun or the twinkling stars after days of this and hope fruitlessly for a boat. I’ve heard one once or twice, but they never came near enough to rescue me. The last one didn’t hear my screaming, that’s for sure.
Let me tell you another tale: FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL WIN! I’ve never skated the park in the late afternoon before. But I got home late, I’ve got nothing productive done, my sunroof leaks on my car, the deck is all screwed up at the cost of hundreds of dollars, all the other stuff you’ve been reading about has been going exactly as I describe it here and there was no hope. No hope except skateboarding. There were probably 30 kids there, a couple on bikes, a couple scooters and a ton of skaters. I stretched out a bit and then stepped on. Glorious. I haven’t worn pants and skated in about a million years. Shorts are good, but pants make you invincible. Everything was faster and bigger. A couple warm-up tricks and then it was on. I pressure-flipped the step-up early in the session. Cool. Big noseslides, some practice of rail slides, work on kickflips a bit. All the while constantly scanning every direction to try not to hit anyone or get in anyone’s way. Not so good at the first part (Got a kid on a scooter, he changed direction right in front of me. All was okay, though.), decent at the second part. The park is filled with kids way better than me, but I do not care. They’re ollieing (well, kickflipping, backside 180ing, kickflip 180ing, and even trying 360 flips) over this tall cone. Sure, I’m 31, I can ollie that. Turns out I can. Tons of speed, land it first try. I am awesome. So, I think to myself, why not try double kickflips (not over the cone)? You did one once at the Camarillo Skatepark while what’s-her-name was out doing something dumb, I bet you could pull it off now… I try it over the pyramid about a million times, coming close, getting lots of air, but never quite catching it right. Try some other stuff, varials, bigspin, that cone a few more times. What about double kickflipping the step up? I know that obstacle pretty well, I bet I can do it. Try exactly three times. On the third, magic. KICK!… Flip…. Flip….. step down… roll away clean. Until then it’d been years, since I’ve done the two hands up and little yell of success and meant it. Now, it’s only been an hour and a half.
Remind me, if things appear to be going terrible, skateboarding is my savior. Or a real good show. Or the ocean. Or the fall breezes. Or everyone passing the Calculus test tomorrow. Or singing. Or hope. Or the future. Something where I’m distracted enough from the bad to remember that I’m good at some things.