I have learned, in my years, that the best way to combat lower back pain is by going skating for an hour or two. You might not feel any less pain when you're through--most likely your back will actually feel worse--but at least you will have had a good time, and you thus won't feel as much resentment towards the crippling spasms in your back when you try to get up the next morning. There is also the chance that Divine Providence will cause you to fall off your board in just the right manner that you knock whatever was askew back into place, thus assisting greatly in the healing process. (This phenomenon is well documented in numerous episodes of Giligan's Island and The Flintstones, where a character looses his or her memory from a knock in the head, only to gain it back by a subsequent noggin jolt. -ed)
I had great fun at the Bease today. Sometimes you need to just get away from everything and celebrate your humanity by rolling around on a small wooden plank with a bunch of other guys (but only one guy per plank, please -safety patrol), in the open air, with a bottle of juice and a list of tricks as long as your overly long skaterly shoelaces. I hardly even recognized the place--in the past week or so since I was last out skating, the trees had gotten all leafy and there were little white blossoms on some of them. There was quite a nice session going on tonight, with skaters coming and going so as to maintain a not overly crowded environment with just the right level of skate energy circulating.
I landed some new tricks, included a fakie nose-grind to slide on the waxen curb that flanks the park. I love grinding that sucker. And I'm working on some Top Secret fakie oldschool flippy things I call "sausage rolls". I don't know the real name for them--they are an ancient freestyle secret transmitted down through generations of skaters from master to acolyte. Once I have them down I will have to find a suitable pupil in whom the trick can be installed so as to ensure its survival.
On a completely different--but still related--topic, I realized today that I don't live in the moment nearly enough. Like the young Luke Skywalker, my mind is always on other things, other places, and not on where I am or what I am doing. Part of this I blame on television. It's always on around here, but today the cable mysteriously cut out for a few hours--right before my favourite show for that matter. I had to stand and hold the bunny ears to catch the full hour of the new Dr. Who, but it actually made for better watching. I don't like to miss any of the Time Lord wisdom to be gleaned from Dr. Who, and I was probably more alert for having to stand than I would have been in a more relaxed posture.
However, apart from Dr. Who and the Simpsons I really can't stand TV, and with the thing going all the time (for reasons too complicated to get into), I am forced to cultivate the bad mental habit of being elsewhere. When the TV cut out today I got to clean the kitchen and make dinner while listening to some quality music. This had the opposite effect: instead of driving my consciousness away, it gathered it in, and I felt very content to be cleaning up the freaking pig sty that the kitchen had become in the 24 hours since I last tidied it. Sadly, the cable has returned--I think the government must be paying for cable co. to keep it on or something. And I am once again taking mental refuge where I can find it: in blogging, daydreaming and the odd trip I can make out to the skatepark.
So, to relate being in the moment back to skateboarding I will have to quote my friend Em, who likened skating to a form of Zen training. "Basically" he said, "If you're not focused one what you're doing in the moment on a skateboard, you fall off and hurt yourself". Sometimes you have to hit the ground to truly appreciate it.