A Long Time to Longboard

I grew up a few miles outside the city, among farms and ranches with big skies and few neighbors. It made learning how to ride a bike a bit of an ordeal - my parents had to drive me over to the nearby town so I could practice with training wheels in their parking lot. Once I got some practice I was able to ride around on my own on dirt roads when we went up into the mountains during the summers, but I never really got accustomed to pavement.

Of course, learning how to skateboard was basically impossible given the circumstances; even if I had a board, I wouldn't have been able to ride it frequently enough to get good at it even during the summer. So, I never learned. I tried standing on one of my friend's boards once when I was hanging out at his house, but I wasn't able to balance on it and I didn't try again.

This weekend, Lauren and I went to a school parking lot near our apartment and I got on a longboard. There's a part of me that wants to learn how to ride so I can get around town, and another that just wants to be able to pick up this skill that I wasn't able to pursue as a kid. Riding - and falling - as an adult is an odd experience.

At some level I felt a little foolish, as though I should already have this skill and it was embarrassing that I didn't, even if I knew that was silly. Yet after the first few falls as I learned how to push and how to turn, I was having a lot of fun going around in giant arcs through the lot and figuring out how to manage this novel and strange device under my feet.

I'm really glad I brought gloves, because I fell a lot - but falling is part of learning, and learning shouldn't stop just because of some stupid image you have of yourself looking like a dweeb. I told myself that if I can learn how to rock climb, if I expect myself to learn how to build space ships, I can learn how to ride a skateboard, and I got up and ran after that board and got back on for another pass.

This is just the beginning and I'm still very new, but hey - I'm having fun!

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