As my trip approaches, and the Paderborn freestyle contest draws nearer, I must remind myself that I am skating for me. Not for a contest. Not to win. Not for a prize. But for me. To show what I can do, enjoy the company of my friends from all over the world, and contribute to the greatness that is freestyle skateboarding.
This is my weekend to work, so I was off a half day today, and I’m off all day tomorrow. I got a lot of my trip prep done today, and will finish tomorrow.
I got in a good session today at 7pm. Skated pretty well. Had a good time. I’m feeling good. Body feels limber, agile, and strong, if a little bit heavy.
Worked on my rolling finger flip today. Not that many of the old guys do these. I haven’t done them in about a year, frankly because I’m lazy and they require a lot of effort. However, since they are a trick that gives a lot of old dudes trouble, and since I can do them, I’ve decided to practice the hell out of mine so it is on lock for these contests. Today I spent 30 minutes on terrible attempts and bad landings, but then got the foot placement and timing worked out and made some good ones. I need to go a bit faster, but that will come. A good, solid finger flip is the main thing. Smooth. Even if a bit slow. Good landings. That is what I go for.
I’ll be traveling to London on July 4, then going to Paderborn, Germany with a bunch of my English friends, to the Paderborn freestyle contest. This will be the 20th year of the contest and my glorious return to that hallowed ground after my 2015 manifestation there (having had to cancel at the last minute in 2016 due to a family health emergency).
THEN, in August, I’ll again be boarding a big ol’ jet aero-liner and flying through the ether like a triumphant Thor to the viking village of Stockholm, Sweden, where I’ll be in the World Championships of Freestyle Skateboarding. I did nothing to earn the right to be in the World Championships, and yet there I shall be, in the “Masters” division, fumbling around in an attempt not to disappoint myself. But I know it will be fun, and I’m looking forward to meeting some skaters I’ve known “on the Interwebs” for many years.
I’ll be chronicling my adventures, both in preparation for these trips and during them, here on this blog. You’ll see my practice sessions, read my innermost thoughts on freestyle skateboarding and the universe and stuff. The real nitty gritty.
First of my many tasks is to lose at least seven pounds between now, June 24, and leaving on July 4. I don’t want to be the big fat American slob rolling around out there. The gut has to go. I’ve already dropped from 211 down to 206. If I can get down below 200, well, that’s pretty lean for me. I am after all a man of middle age. As long as my sweaty t-shirt doesn’t stick to my protruding stomach, I’m good to go. I think I can do this. True, I just ate half a pizza and had a 20 oz Coke for lunch, but I burned a lot of calories at Aikido this morning. I had to refuel so I can skate tonight. Will need to hydrate well tonight as well.
I have three or four tricks I’d like to have in the bag before I leave, and I’ve not given up on them, but honestly, two weeks before a skate trip to Europe is not the time to be committing to new tricks. It’d be just my luck to really smash myself good, then I’d really be up the creek and uncool.
Well, it is Saturday and 5:45pm, and I’ll probably head out to my skate spot at 6:30. I have to get there before these goth-slasher-film weirdos who have been showing up to film a movie. They ruined my session last Sunday, but yesterday I beat them by 30 minutes. When they got there I was already practicing, blasting the musics from my loud iPod speaker. For the record, I support Goth Weirdness in full. I just can’t have it messing with me.
Later: For the first hour of my skate session there were lots of people playing Pokemon Go, that phone-based game where people walk around “hunting” Pokemon, staring at their phones as they move, walking in front of cars, trains, skateboarders, and generally barely avoiding disaster with Magoo-like ability. They sat on my ledge (yes, it is MY ledge!!!!) and I skated in front of them as they sat there staring at their phones, coming close to their thick ankles. Non-skaters don’t really know that being around a skateboarder and not paying attention is not good idea, but it’s not my job to make sure they survive. So I turned on my very loud iPod speaker at maximum volume. I pretended they didn’t exist. I had a good session. Eventually they shambled off into parts unknown, leaving me in the peace I so crave. A good session. I win.