Human nature is a funny thing. The clips on ‘You’ve Been Framed’ and ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ generating the greatest uproar in our house are always when an individual has the fates conspiring against them and they end up plummeting to the ground. Their moment of impact sees you cringe, you let out a gasp, before howling with laughter at their misfortune.
You’d think that as the years go by, I’d learn from my mistakes and be a bit more cautionary when attempting something new. But no. You’ll no doubt remember my dalliance with ice skating and the very first attempt I made on ice, which resulted in several hours at the local Canadian A&E department and a broken wrist (click here to relive the saga …..). Mind you, I’ve attempted cross-country skiing and downhill skiing since without much incident – although there was that time when I tried jumping off the ski lift …..My middle kid has been pretty proficient about learning to skateboard – and now most of the snow has finally disappeared (I know …. it’s May), skateboards are a popular mode of transport and can be seen out and about around Edmonton. She’s been learning on a small narrow board, so has ‘upgraded’ to a longer and wider board that is probably closer in style to a surfboard than a skateboard. We never had flat pavements when I was young, so the ability to even attempt roller-skating – never mind skateboarding – was always limited by the severity of the uneven flags and the sense of foreboding that at any second, you’d be thrown into the air like a catapult. It’s a completely different story over here. Smooth pavements, well-laid pathways and flat surfaces make learning to roller-skate and skateboard much easier. So, upon leaving the store this weekend with her larger and visually stunning new skateboard, she wanted to head straight to one of the local parks to test it out.She quickly started getting the hang of it, declaring it was far easier than her previous smaller version, and the ability to balance seemed effortless. I watched her for several minutes, impressed with how quickly she adapted, after which an element of what can only be described as sheer recklessness then descended as I uttered the immortal words …… ‘give it to me, I’ll have a go’.Clearly catching the rest of the family by surprise, they were stunned into disbelief as they watched me place the skateboard on the floor and try to decide which foot to start off with. It wasn’t an immediate choice – do I start on the left foot, or start on the right – there was certainly some hesitation as I debated how to put my best foot forward, and this possibly translated into some degree of trepidation and nervousness in the watching family members. For my part, I was totally confident in my abilities and had a mental vision of me demonstrating the moves with professional skill and adeptness as I set off. The first attempt went well. I wasn’t quick – just getting my balance, and in all honesty, one foot was on the floor most of the time.
‘This is easy’, I declared – getting more enthusiastic and overly confident by the second. ‘I’ll have another go’.
In hindsight, it all quickly went wrong the moment both feet left the ground. Recognising the need for speed, I pushed off a bit too keenly. This only magnified into a problem – which resulted in my downfall – the moment my remaining foot left the ground. It didn’t even get as far as being placed on the skateboard as the visual representation of Newton’s law of force = mass x velocity, and what can go disastrously wrong when any of the elements are miscalculated, was perfectly demonstrated. The skateboard continued its projection forward, whilst I was momentarily horizontal in mid-air before gravity took charge and landed me unceremoniously on the tarmac and in a mound of gravel.
Two of my kids burst into side-splitting laughter, whilst ‘husband’, just tutted, rolled his eyes, and uttered, ‘for goodness sake, you’re not a teenager you know!’. Half suspecting he had an afternoon’s delight in the local A&E to look forward to, he was somewhat relieved when I hobbled to my feet, hand bleeding profusely from pot-marked gravel embedded in the skin, and a sore bottom that was saved from being scalped literally by the thickness of my jeans. Thankyou, Levi.
To say I’ve got a slight bruise on my behind would be an understatement – there’s quite a range of deep blues, purples and blacks; and no doubt all colours of the rainbow will make an appearance over the next few weeks. Sitting on the sofa and chairs are proving a challenge, and the palm of my hand has seen better days. Still, chalk it up to experience and another sporting attempt I can now cross off my list. Fast and furious wasn’t the wisest of choices, it’s safer just watching it at the cinema ….