When I started skateboarding again I knew that I would eventually wind up injured. It was only a matter of time and a question of how severe. I made it roughly two months. In that time I regained my form, exceeded my expectations, and pushed my boundaries. It got to a point where every time I got on my board I felt like I was flying. It was nirvana.
I ended up screwing up my shoulder on a fall. It wasn’t too bad, but it did remind me of my mortality and I’m not skating. I’ll still surf this fall, but at this point the skateboard has served its purpose. It literally helped me to recapture my youth, and remind me that I haven’t gotten everything I want out of my body, yet. Surfing will be a challenge as well as a danger. I’ll stick to the small stuff though, and stay away from Ocean Beach. San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is my home break, where drowning occurs annually. It’s one of the most powerful beach breaks in the world. It’s truly nasty, bone crunching, and I’ve experienced everything–tons of fun to terror–in those waters! Maybe I’ll just surf it on the really small days?
I told a good friend of mine about my skateboarding fall. He said he’d talked to at least five different guys our age (40’s) who took up skateboarding in the last year and ended up breaking bones. I’m not alone. At least I didn’t break anything! Had my injury occurred in the first two weeks I probably would have regretted skating again, because it took me about that long to really start letting go of my inhibitions on the board. Since I made it two months, the experience was mostly gravy.
The injury hasn’t stopped my girls from wanting to skateboard. My five year old Sabrina is very enthusiastic and has outstanding balance. I hold her hands as she skates along. I do the same thing for seven year Skylee, who has even more enthusiasm but a little less sense of balance. She’s more dangerous than me on the board, so I hold her hands too. Just yesterday I was helping Sabrina on the board outside of Skylee’s group ballet lesson at our local recreation center. Skylee enviously watched us, and after ballet she refused to get in the car without getting a turn on the board. This weekend I’ll give her a little time too when Sabrina’s not around. We won’t tell Sabrina. It will be one of those father daughter secrets.
This experience of mine may or may not get some of The Father Life readers interested in taking up where they left off in some of their more extreme athletic endeavors. If you are up for it, obviously proceed at your own risk, and your own reward. My greatest rewards were reaped on those days when I rode my bike in the morning before work, then took off early from work to skate. There’s really nothing like the feeling of being so active, and pushing your limits so far. Nothing that is, except surfing. Now all I need to do is find a cheap board on Craigslist.
Image by: Aleksi Aaltonen
Andy Falk is a father of two incredible daughters ages born in 2001 & 2003, Skylee
and Sabrina. Andy is very active in the lives of his daughters, from coaching soccer to supporting them during swimming season to just plain doing homework or hanging out. Andy also surfs regularly, bicycle commutes and is a successful Realtor in Marin County, CA. Andy earned his MBA from San Francisco State University with an Internet Marketing concentration, and holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego where he studied and surfed in the 80’s.