After Day 1, that night, for the 5th time, I looked up Craigslist longboard prices. I found some encouraging news! I could get one for under $100 – in good shape, from a respected brand!
When I thought of wanting to get one, though, my throat floated up, and my brain started to pulse and my breathing quickened — no, not anticipation, fright!
I do not like making decisions without thorough thinking – money decisions get put off, and off, and off. “I probably don’t need it. I don’t need it…” The thinking goes. Or “I want it now, but how do I know if it is a passing desire that could have been avoided simply by waiting? We’ll never know, unless I wait!”
I stop wanting most things in about 2 weeks to 2 years.
So, while BT encouraged me to go ahead and contact the seller, I went the next day (Day 2) without engaging them. “So did you do it?” BT asked when I got back. Nope.
So, on day 2, we did some more slight-sloping road stuff.
The next day (day 3), BT decided to visit the skate-shop. Everything was 1/2 off, cool.
Oh…. Everything was 1/2 off because he was closing.
This made a snap-decision absolutely necessary.
Either I get a brand new board for under $100, or I don’t. Those were the 2 options. And BT felt more comfortable with me riding a new board, vs. a used one, when I couldn’t bring it in for tweaking.
So calm BT, and frazzled me, thought it out, and we went for it.
So far, (fingers-would be-crossed-except-that’s-superstitious) it’s working out to be a good idea.
I bought a …. drumroll! No, it’s really not that big of a deal 🙂
A 76 board. It’s working great for me!
So after buying my board, and pad-sets for both of us, and a helmet for BT (I already had one), we went ahead to our intended destination, to ride.
A park, with more hills than we’d remembered.
We tested my board first sitting, so I could get a feel – was it crazy! It has a very loose “suspension” (technically: soft bushings) – ie. it turns super easily, which was too much for me. If you don’t want this, you tighten the nut and it will tighten up the steering. We did. Absolutely necessary for me 😉 Even still, my board is much more loose than BT’s – it’s actually made to be. We’d have to change bushings if I wanted mine as stiff (not a bad thing) as BT’s.
So we started out with a shallow hill. Boy was it fast. 🙂
Oh, I was so giddy when I got on by myself the first time, and the second time, and the fifth time! I had been using BT as wheel-stop so I could get on the board. That was no longer an option. So, I planted one foot, and put the other on – and I WAS STILL STANDING! 😀 Little, tiny, eensy-bintsy victories that all add up. 🙂
Two-thirds of the time I rode standing and 1/3 of the runs sitting.
BT suggested we should switch boards and after about the 8th run, we did.
I took BT’s and he took mine. I was so stable on his board, and having lots of fun. Then, a car came up the other side of the road, and I was already a little pointed to the “curb” (no curb, just edge of road), but I didn’t want to startle the car by turning into them, so I kept in my direction.
I tried and tried to avoid the curb, but didn’t make it, I would have to ride into the grass (which BT helped me with the physics later, but I thought it would make for a bad wipe-out if I went in the grass a the shallow angle I was heading).
So, I made a last ditch slight effort to correct my course, and somehow I fell thwack! on my back on the pavement, hitting my helmet, and BT’s board wheeee!! went riding off the road and went far along it, till it ended up on the other side of the road about 50-100 feet down.
I get very logical and think much in these situations – I knew what to do: split-second assessment, get off the road/on the grass, and do whatever I need to minimize pain and deter worry in passers-by. Unfortunately, my head – which hit pretty hard, didn’t feel good sitting up, so I laid down (I’ve had spills before, and my body tends to be much more fragile than my mind, so I pamper it more than I see fit). A car passed, and I forced my self to sit.
But the throbbing was so bad, I laid again, until I heard another passer by. Up — *throb* *throb* — and back down. Haha, it would be no good if I passed out – I could just imagine the trouble that would cause – what with BT by himself, trying to revive me or get me back up to his car. Nah, nah, I was staying alert. 🙂
BT made it back and we began to assess actual damage – none – just an aching head.
I asked if the helmet was okay? BT took a look at it – yeah, no damage. I was surprised. I’ve never actually hit my helmet and had it go thwack, so I supposed it might be the end of its life.
Then he found a crack – there was a small crack running up the foam. Nothing much, but I was kind of happy to see some damage on it. I mean, it’d been no trip in the park – well, actually it had been – … it’d been no ice-cream sundae, and I kind of expected that if I was hurting this bad, my helmet would show some sign… right?
My head had some remainder pain even after I walked up the hill to restart, and I know my head is more sensitive than anything else. So, I rode sitting the rest of the time. And had way more fun than I did when standing!! I felt pitiful that way, but it was more fun!
So, BT mentioned on the way home how “I probably wasn’t even frightened after my fall.” But my insides were beginning to turn.
And I learned something about myself.
I have very few, almost no, strengths. (Honestly. Even if you disagree, just go with it for now 😉 )
The one strength I have that others have seen and been able to mention, is staying calm under extreme pressure situations. They don’t expect me to, and so when they see me staying calm, they notice, and mention it.
It’s a no-brainer to me. I don’t even try, I just do.
But extreme pressure situations are few and far between. (As is apparent from the outside, at least.) So, I don’t get this compliment or recognition often…
But I feel like a wuss because after I go through these, and feel fine, and handle it, and use my brain, and even enjoy it — when it’s all over, I get scared.
I hate it! And I think hating it makes it that much more prevalent, because I try to hide my fear when the event is replaying again and again in my head.
This happens only when it is a fear I’ve already had – if the dire situation I was in doesn’t play to a seated fear, I can get over it quickly, and it was just the situation I had to deal with, not the fear afterwards.
But when it’s a fear thing – car collisions, causes of physical hurt, etc.- I get the betraying fear after the situation is all said and done.
This is what happened for me.
At times, I can not reconcile the fact that humans get hurt doing the things we love, and that we get old and when we get old we can’t do those things.
But if we do those things when we are young, we may hurt ourselves to where we’ll be old in a moment’s time.
How can it be okay that humans get hurt? I haven’t been able to explain this, yet, to myself.
So my fall happened so suddenly and out of the blue, that I wondered everything about my choice of sport, my fool-hardiness to think I could survive on a sport many others find dangerous, and whether I should take such risks, and whether my enjoyment of something outweighed the possibility that I’d would hurt myself during it. All the while my head was still feeling the ache from the fall, reinforcing the negative thoughts about my silliness in picking up a sport.
I knew I’d have to get back up on my board and ride it the next day if these thoughts were not to win. “But what if it happens again?” the thoughts said.
I don’t know.
But despite what they would say, I am always wearing a helmet from now on, just for me. I am pretty clumsy, and that will help with that, even it it’s a shallow slope 🙂
Have you ever taken a spill that was noteworthy for you?
What is your favorite wheeled sport?