Friday, April 22, 2005


Went skating last night, which explains my needing the winch to get out of bed this morning (are you sure you mean "winch" and not "wench"?-ed). I tend to overexert myself some, a trait which I blame on my Nordic blood. I also have a weakness for limmericks for which I blame my Irish grandpa.

I once knew a lad from steeltown
Whose talent it was to fall down
His wrist he would sprain
But he'd get up again
And spin like a pizza around

(OK bud, you're busted! -rhyme police) When I was a kid my parents signed me up for Judo classes at the YMCA. I was a shy and retiring lad, in contrast to the charismatic and outgoing ladies man I have become (are you sure you don't mean "laddies man"?-ed), and so the class was a bit of an ordeal for me. I went only once, in fact. I arrived with my father, late, and the other kids were already kneeling around the parimeter of the matted room, listening respectfully to the gruff, heavyset Judo Master. The assistant Judo Master, a tall lanky fellow, quickly ushered me to a spot allong the wall. After a short preamble and demonstration we were all made to stand in a line and, one by one, practise the moves we had been shown. These involved throwing yourself to the mat, rolling over your shoulder, and simultaneously slapping the mat with one of your hands; the force of which slap would assist one in rolling back onto one's feet. After a few practise runs we were all made to perform the roll under the stern gaze--and nose--of the Master. Unfortunately for him my mother had made her wonderful meatloaf dinner that night, and the mixture of ground beef, tomato sauce, HP, peas and potato mash (sounds tasty, what's your mom's number? -ed.) was still colluding in my stomach. All of the rolling and mat-slapping must have massaged my innards in such a way as to ease a packet of gas through my entrails, for as I was in mid roll at the foot of the Judo Master the room was startled by a ripping relase of compressed air from my bowels. I can only imagine that there must have been suppressed giggles and sour expressions circulating the dojo; I was too embarrassed to look. Blushing furiously I hastily took my place against the wall while the rest of the class completed their rolls.

Such was my embarrassment over the incident that I never went back to Judo class again (Judowuss!-ed). The brief training I received, however, has served me well in my skateboarding career (so that's what you call it -coach Z). The principle of rolling to absorb the energy of a fall has likely saved me many a sprain and dislocation; and I have never--knock on 7-ply--broken or fractured a bone. Anyways, yesterday at the skatepark I had many opportunities to practise my Judo falls. Often, I can go a whole session without hitting the dirt, but yesterday I was both a little rusty and trying some new moves; simple stuff like half-cab to manuel, but new to me. I skated pretty well for the first twenty minutes or so, but then fatigue set in and I couldn't seem to land anything. Managed to pull a trick I have been working on for a while, though: a little flatland move called the "nose wheely-shove-it-to tail wheelie" (nobody calls them "wheelies" anymore, they're "manuals"-Dr. Who). When you do that little sneaky foot manouver it looks just like magic! (in your dreams -ed).

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