Starting Again, Again
Posted on September 20, 2016
Starting to skate again after breaking my wrist was nowhere near as dramatic as the “Starting Again, Again” title implies. There isn’t actually all that much to write about. As I said in my last post, I was off of the board for almost exactly two months. I was supposed to wait three, so I eased back in to it during May with a few easy sessions at the mini ramp in Hoboken. By June I was back to skating once or twice a week. I’ve been skating regularly again for over three months now. I had to relearn some things and my consistency is worse but I didn’t really lose any tricks. I’ve actually learned a few things.
Even though my wrist is healed I have been wearing a wrist guard, more as a protective totem than anything else. I’ve always had some slightly magical thinking and superstitions when it comes to skateboarding but post injury that has gotten worse. I only do certain tricks in certain spots. I rock to fakie on one side of the Hoboken mini and smith grind on the other. I can ollie up the Owls Head euro but not the Chelsea one. If I take a bad slam on something, I avoid doing that trick in that spot again. The spot, not the trick, feels cursed. It took an impromptu session with a bunch of guy I didn’t know to get me back in the bowl at Owls Head. I was afraid of it because that is where I broke my wrist. With my friends I could just say “no, this is sketching me out, I don’t want to skate it”, but with strangers my pride overcame my fear.
So while I may not have lost any tricks, what I did lose was my bravado.
I’ve been struggling with “the fear”. I’m much more afraid of falling and, as such, I’ve become much more risk adverse. I’ve been avoiding bigger transition and having more fun skating smaller obstacles. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but before I hurt myself I was starting to learn some of my mini ramp tricks in the shallow end of the Owls Head bowl. It is frustrating to now have to contend with extreme anxiety even carving a bowl, much less trying lip tricks.
I’m not exaggerating. I get extremely nervous now. At the start of a session I get jittery and dizzy, with an increased heart rate and it takes a good half hour or so before it goes away and I can start to skate normally. A few times I’ve gone to the parks and literally only rolled around once or twice before having to sit down and wait for my body to calm down. If I ever want to learn tricks on bigger transition again, I think the only solution is pads, so my plan for this fall is to pad up for the bowls. It’s been entirely too hot to make that transition this summer.
In the meantime I’ve started to try to learn kickflips, but I will save that for my next post.