That one week ago I sprained my ankle (somewhere between a type one and two) and began what is officially known as “My Summer Bag of Suck”. Swelling has gone down significantly but I’m giving it another week. Still sort of swollen. C_ has been my reassuring nurse practitioner. I’m looking into a new board (since the other one tried to break my ankle). I think I want to get a Hook Ups deck (sort of NSFW-Anime). I’m looking for something that is 7.75 or less. I have small feet.
Lately all I’ve been doing is obsessing about my sprained ankle. When will it get better? How long will it take? Is bruising normal? Should I see the doctor? Am I going to die? Why doesn’t it hurt more? Am I the biggest whiner on Earth? Why me? WHY? At the height of summer too.
So it goes.
I was at the Eyota skateboard park just this Tuesday when it happened. I’m not even sure how it happened. I was having a good time of it. Boardslides. Ollies off of the steps. 50-50 grinds on the quarterpipe and just a really lovely day. Move over Sheckler. Tedfoo pwns this park.
I was having trouble landing the longer boardslides so I kept telling myself to loosen up and relax so I could come off of the rail with more control. Well I think I was too relaxed when I slopped up the rail. My left foot (I think) came off the tail of the skateboard and I rolled the ankle. Done. Bag of suck.
I got ice on it right away. Compression bandage (make shift bubble wrap and tape). Rest and elevation. BOR-ING.
So now I read blogs on sprains and rehab. Sucks. Everyone is like – don’t do this and don’t do that. Basically just sit and suck. I believe I have a grade I perhaps borderline grade II ankle sprain. Suck.
Anyway. I’ve started an ankle journal and have been shopping for a new board (the other one is cursed now). Pictures to come.
Super awesome week skateboarding. I’m always a sweaty mess by the time my lunch is over, too bad the area of Rochester I work in sucks balls for skate terrain. I make the best of it. Empty parking lot with a painted curb works. It’s right next to a baseball park that has the these two cute statues of children playing baseball. It has a nice homey feeling to it and it is tucked away enough from the road so no one from work can see me. I have officially adopted it as my place to skate.
First things first though- the list:
Up North, Pale Young Gentlemen
A Day in the Life, The Beatles
How High the Moon?, Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald
Been Caught Stealing, Jane’s Addiction
Boy’s Don’t Cry, The Cure
Things I learned about skateboarding this week:
I never tire of watching videos of skateboarders that are a hundred times better than me. It just pushes me harder. I keep thinking- I’ll be able to do that. Be positive.
Be very aggressive when doing a trick. Go all out. Doing it half-ass is only going to end in a sprain or a lame waste of time. Go for the break and try to get on top of it.
Speed speed speed.
Pulling off a trick and working a remote for your camera is bullshit hard. Bring a friend next time.
Muscle memory is so important. Repeat trick a billion times.
You need a lot of force and tension to pull a trick off, but you still have to manage to remain relaxed otherwise you’re going to lock your legs up on the landing and end up on your ass.
Like I said, relax. Tell yourself that a billion times.
Celebrate wildly the first time you land the trick (180 pop shove-it for me!). Do yell out and put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. I did.
Don’t try to do tricks in the employee break room in front of co-workers and eat it hard. That’s lame.
Tearing it up at Eyota. Haha.
I’ve never been so keenly aware of precipitation and the chance of snow. I watch the weather forecasts very closely. I am constantly thinking that this could very well be the last run of the season. Such is the life I live.
Today I hit it hard after a week of rain. The last place I left off was at the Eyota skate park doing slappy rail slides after work. I was starting to get some distance on their low rail. I liked that. Wiped out hard once. Tore up my knuckle a bit on the left hand. I always suck at skateboarding straight away after work. Especially in Eyota. So shitty. They have this obscenely huge quarter pipe that I hate.
So crisp this morning. Highlights included ollie to frontside boardslide, ollies down the stairs in front of the WSU library, slappies and speed, speed and more speed. I bailed so hard at one point today I was quite sure I had dislocated my spine. I walked it off feeling tough and cool. Still waiting to feel it tomorrow morning. I also crossed the tracks where Bruce “Ernie” Streng lost his life last week. So sad. A train passed by as I walked between the tracks and the WSU football field. I was tired of skating. The sun was warm.
Lessons learned on the mean streets of Winona:
I’d like to say that all skateboard tricks are 99% confidence but it’s just not true. In fact, thinking that way will get you hurt really quick. I’d say it’s fifty fifty. Physically you know what you can do. Fatigue is my worst enemy. Once I wear out I have less muscle control, things get sloppy and then I fall. I try to avoid those scenarios.
Punks that yell, “kickflip” when you skate by them deserve nothing but your middle finger.
Girls always always like skateboarders.
Careful on wet leaves.
Motorists are completely helpless when a skateboarder approaches an intersection at the same they do. It’s best to guide them.
Playgrounds are sanctuaries from the police and pesky property owners.
Love, The Cult
She Sells Sanctuary, The Cult
Boys Don’t Cry, The Cure
A Forest, The Cure
Charlotte Sometimes, The Cure
Human After All, Daft Punk
Sitting – staring at my skateboard while my computer uploads a photo to Flickr. So irritated with myself for dropping skateboarding. All that time gone. Alas.
Let’s do our best to make up for lost time.
Last night we made dinner for my mom and dad. The main dish was from a recipe called, Chicken Bundles. C_ had made a special run to the grocery store but forgot vegetables for salad. Oh – and bread. Mom loves bread with dinner.
The grocery store is about six blocks away. Beautiful fall day. Bright, crisp and clear. All the cliches in a time frame of two hours. I decided to skateboard over to the store.
Everything felt just right about skateboarding. The poetry of it. I even ollied the “Winona Savings Bank Gap” – about a two foot gap between the bank’s ramp to walk-up service and an arbitrary curb that runs next to it. I’ll take a picture sometime. Regardless, it was one of my goals before the snow flies – which should be any day now. The rest of the run was just nice carves. I like smacking the tail of my skateboard on the curb when I fly off. It’s such a good sound.
Dinner was awesome. Mom and Dad brought a lemon meringue pie for dessert.
Feeling weird and good:
My Old Flame, John Vanderslice
Finer Feelings, Spoon
Silver Lining, Rilo Kiley
To Be Young, Ryan Adams
Touch to Feel, Girl Talk
Goodbye, Asobi Seksu
The other night I skateboarded over to Midtown to pick up hot dogs (Kosher, extra lean, all beef) and buns for dinner. It’s been a couple weeks since I wrecked my ankle but it felt alright so I picked up my normal cruising speed . Observed:
Motorists have no idea what to do when they see a skateboarder approaching an intersection. Do I treat it like a bicyclist? Pedestrian? Freak of nature? Regardless the decision to run me(skate punk!) over is made and acted upon. I’m sure they’d give me the finger too but then they see my gray hairs and decide not, because I pay taxes and vote. But to be honestly fair? I think it has to do with speed. Winona motorists haven’t dealt with a skateboarder moving quickly towards an intersection in years. Most of them look away when they cut me off.
I like flying off of curbs into intersections at the fastest speed possible. See above.
I avoid young skateboarders doing incredibly insane aerial tricks off of high ledges because really, who needs to be shown up at my age?
Nothing changes. Empty bank parking lots are the best places to skate. I have no idea why but it was like that 20 years ago.
Cops don’t bother skateboarders anymore.
I strike an incredibly heroic figure of resistance and abandon when I am skating fast as possible down the street looking behind me for cars right before I fly off the curb into the intersection. Standing straight with a slight bend in my knees, Daft Punk playing in my head, wind rippling my t-shirt– I am reckless and calm, in form.
About a week of skateboarding and this is what I have learned (again):
Don’t over tighten your wheels. Tighter wheels means harder pushing, harder pushing leads to a sore ankle. Wheels need a little bit of play on the truck. Enough to hear a light ‘clack’ when moved back and forth by hand.
Board slides on finished parking stops are fast. Very very fast. Be ready for it otherwise you’ll end up on your back. I challenge anyone to fall as gracefully as I did.
You will sweat profusely if you skate all out on your lunch break. Bring deodorant if you do.
Skating in the morning sucks. Night time is the right time.
Be very impressed by anyone in their 40s doing rail slides like this one:
SICK SICK SICK! SERIOUSLY! ACK! POETRY IN MOTION!
LIST OR DIE!
California, Rogue Wave
On the Bus Mall, Decemberists
The Wind Cries Mary, Jimi Hendrix
My Murmuring Darling, Snowden
World Town, M.I.A.
Yea, Yeah, Matt and Kim
Still Ill, The Smiths
Close to Me, The Cure