Last Thursday night, while driving home from work for the last time that week (because I had Friday off) my boyfriend and I coordinated to meet at the skate park. I've been using his shorter hybrid board to practice a few freestyle tricks since I've been interested in exploring the trick style of riding a longboard.
I started off slow. Went around the perimeter, then I tested my waters inside where the boys play.
[Totally off topic but I felt the need to point out that when I say "where the boys play" I don't mean that girls don't, or God forbid, can't skateboard; only meant that there were no girls doing so at that time and it was a very boyish scene.]
My boyfriend convinced me to take a crack at the slopes and riding down the ramp. After much thought (totally anticipating something to go horribly wrong) I did ride down the ramps and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we moved on to what can only be described as a side ramp with a semi-90 degrees curve. You're meant to ride it at an incline to get the full trick. So I tried. And I tried. And I tried again. And every time, it felt like I was forgetting whatever progress I had semi-accomplished in the previous try. The problem’s not bending my knees, and being too afraid to throw my full body weight into the direction of the incline. I understand the problems, but making the necessary changes to fix those problems is the difficult part. Ultimately I "failed". I took one of the attempts too far, didn't let go of the board when I should've and bitch-slapped the floor (yes, it's as painful as it sounds). Thankfully, I didn't break my chin (as was the initial thought) and I used Friday as recovery day to paint this.
Contemplating the events of Thursday night left me with two very useful lessons under my belt.
Getting hurt is one of the reasons I'd put off longboarding but I've come to realize that if I don't try, I'll always beat myself up for it–because longboarding is really important to me. I truly look up to my boyfriend for being so agile and continue to skateboard and surf. And at my age, I feel like I should have the resistance to do so as well!
Perceived fear can hinder our progress. I might not have fallen if I would have listened to my boyfriend and done exactly what I was afraid to do, but I didn’t because I was afraid of falling–which I ended up doing any way. This is a matter of acknowledging any resources that we can cling to in our time of need.
We are never in this alone!