Being Completely Age-Inappropriate

I’m not completely sure why – but I started skateboarding. I’m a mostly fully grown 32 year old man and I pulled the skateboard I barely used as a 12 year old out of the garage. A skateboard I’ve dragged around with me as an adult but never touched.

It’s about the least appropriate sport-like-activity I can think of for a person of my age. A friend of mine decided to try and skateboard, clearly she is a little mad, yet one week later I was doing the same thing.

Tomorrow marks the 2 week point in my “skateboarding experience”.

Being an adult, and an (almost) textbook type A personality, I set some goals.

It turns out skateboarding is a seasonal thing (summer) as I’m told skateboards basically self-destruct in the rain. Given it is late autumn that makes it almost the worst possible time to pick up the hobby.

I decided making sure I got out every day for 7 days, despite the weather. If I only managed 5-10 minutes that day still counted. I wanted to be able to roll around comfortably, and learn how to “ollie” (jump the board) in that time. My lunch breaks became short, well timed excursions between rain clouds.

I jumped on Google Maps and located all of the large chunks of concrete in my neighborhood. I was too embarrassed to learn to skate on the sidewalk outside my house. I located an old, deserted tennis court and breathed a sigh of relief.

2 weeks later I’m still skateboarding. I haven’t destroyed myself as of yet, though almost every component of my childhood skateboard has died a gruesome death and I’m rolling around on a shiny new board.

What have I learned?

  1. It’s amazing what terrifies you when you no longer have solid ground under your feet. Mountain biking has no crossover into skateboarding despite being wheel based.
  2. When you’re old, you always think in terms of consequence rather than fun.
  3. Old people have terrible balance. Karate helps a lot here and I’d hate to think what my balance would be like today without it.
  4. Old people don’t know how to fall over. Karate fortunately comes to the rescue here once again.
  5. I am embarrassed to have strangers see me suck at something. I don’t seem to have such a big problem doing things I’m good at in front of strangers though.
  6. Taking on new, completely unexpected things expands your horizons both mentally and physically.
  7. Reminding yourself you don’t know everything, and you aren’t good at everything is important. The beginners mind is vital.

My daughter is a big fan of the new challenge – rolling around in the kitchen on a skateboard is right up her alley. The dog is also highly agreeable as that just means more walks. My wife just smiles and shakes her head, an understandable position to take.

Next stop – pogo sticking! (is that even how you say that?)