An Aged Victory

Here is another post on aging and skateboarding. I hope you're not sick of them, but if you with it (there is one of those perks to getting older).

I recently watched a video on Tony Hawk turning 50, and performing 50 tricks that he either invented or popularized. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

The part about this that struck me was when he said he adjusted his skating to keep going. Such a simple concept, but so true, right? If I can't jump down big sets of stairs anymore, but still want to skateboard, find another place to do it. I suppose the first post about this was the baby steps of this transition (though it still didn't end well), and if I'm honest, this has kind of been a long time coming. It is still difficult to see these awesome skate spots and dream up tricks I used to be able to do, and couple probably do again if I wanted to hurt myself, but is that really enjoying the sport, or just prolonging the inevitable?

So today I took the girls to a skatepark I used to frequent when Katie and I first got married. It's fun, with kind of small ramps, and also one of the few wood-based parks in Los Angeles (most of them are concrete). It's in a nice part of town, totally fenced in and I noticed the other day that it opens at 6AM, so I thought it might be a nice park to take the girls to for an early morning session. I was surprised to find four other guys there at 9AM this morning (doesn't anybody work in this town?!), but they were kind of old so I thought they may be sympathetic to a dad trying to get his daughters into skating.

Lunch at the skatepark.

It wasn't too long before another dad showed up with his young son, and then a third! This might be our new park!! Of course, skating with the kids isn't really good, hard skating, as most of the time I am making sure that they are not running into other skaters or trying to do something beyond their abilities; not to mention taking them on my own board for endless runs around the park. But towards the end we all congregated at the miniramp to skate with the "old guys." They were a few guys in their 40s and 50s that stuck pretty exclusively to the halfpipe. They weren't half-bad, and were massively encouraging, especially to me as a dad. It was fun to skate with them while the girls watched, and I actually landed some stuff that was hard for me, notably a few handplants.

Now the main victory in all of this, at least given the context of my skating career lately, is that I was tempted to try some handrail tricks on one of the funboxes. But every time I looked at that rail, my knees ached -- Is my body telling me something, or what? I decided to stick to the ramps, pursuing tricks that would have less impact but still be fun, and guess what? It was! And what could be better than pushing yourself skating while also watching your kids do the same? To seal it off, we went and got delicious donuts on the way home, and now I am here doing another one of my favorite things -- writing about it.

What a day...