November 23, 2016

Rewarding With Pain

It was around six pm. The sun was low in the sky and the concrete was a glow in golden light. The park was not too crowded and I felt confident. I had just rolled into some ramps that had scared me before and was feeling the flow. It as the first time in weeks that I felt awake. Alert. Alive.

I had promised myself to push myself a bit during this session, and take a few bigger risks. After a small fall, I was exhilarated by the feeling of my flesh hitting the concrete. My shoulder stung a little, but I was pushed forward by a sense of invincibility. The wheels buzzing. My knees bent. The balance achieved.

I had been skating for forty-five minutes and was getting tired. I had a good day and it was time to drink some water and call it a day. Kaia was doing some ramp work with her teacher and was a bit low on energy. Her Wednesdays are crazy. He was spotting her, but her heart wasn’t in it. She barely bent her knees and you could tell she was nervous. It wasn’t a good day for her.

I had watched her drop into a ramp from the rail for a few sessions and emboldened by my success, I wanted to inspire her a bit.

“Listen Kaia, we are almost done. If you put 100% into this one and really bend your knees and lean forward and get into it, I will give this ramp a try.”

I am not sure why I thought this was a good idea or why no one tried to stop me, but next thing you know I was up the ramp. it wasn't big, but I had never done anything like it before. I had just learned a roll in a few minutes before.

“What could go wrong? You have all the pads on.” Shawn said casual.

My first run I leaned back a little and caught myself on my elbows. It wasn’t as hard as it looked and I knew with an adjustment I could do it. I was back on the ramp. Then I was down. I didn’t feel myself leaning back, but the video clearly shows that I did not bend my knees or lean forward.

My ankle went under and I knew that something was wrong. The pain was sudden and intense like a wave or a hammer on an anvil. I saw white as I took off my helmet and tried to catch my breath.

Kaia looked scared and I tried to calm her down, but I was pretty shocked myself. I saw my ankle and it looked twisted. Kaia’s teacher was saying it looked bad and Shawn’s face was not reassuring.

Long story short- They pushed me to the car, one foot on a board. Marin drove me to the hospital and a bone in my ankle area is fractured and has moved back into place. Pretty bad.

I’m currently in the hospital and will have surgery in the morning to add a plate and screws to move the bone back in place. The doctor is optimistic about recovering time. I will wait and see. I hope this doesn’t mean we have to cancel Thailand. We all really needed that break.

I may have to spend the night here tomorrow night just in case. Will see after surgery.

A few lessons learned here:
  1. I am not nineteen. This lesson seems to be hard for me to really learn. 
  2. End on a high note. When you have success, just soak in it for a while, no need to push yourself until you fail, or break your bones.
  3. Skateboarding is dangerous and fun and exciting and should never be underestimated. People make it look easy, but when you are starting it is not. 
  4. Sometimes taking risks is rewarding. 
  5. Sometimes taking risks ends with pain. 

I’m in a hospital room alone and it is time for sleep. What a strange way to end my three week run.

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