This summer, I was supposed to work at a mobile skateboard park, looking after the kids. I went through all the trouble of gettinga a police check and signing up for a first aid course. But the closer it got to the start date of my new job, the more I started to dread it. I knew there would be rewarding aspects to working with youth, and getting to know some kids from different parts of town, but the thought of skateboarding every day was weighing heavily on my mind. Also, the sun is so hot these days, and working outside would surely be exhausing.
The last time I went out skateboarding, I bruised my toe. It was swollen and blue for three days, and I was walking around with a limp. The accident happened just as I was leaving the park. I tried to do one last trick, to show off, and instead of the board doing what I expected, it whirled out of control and dinged me in the toe. I was pretty depressed after that. I had already given my notice at the hotel where I work, and it seemed to me too late to go back. I would have to skateboard with the kids for two months, even if it killed me.
My body has been sore lately. My joints ache and my back gives out when I've been sitting too long in a car or soft couch. Even though I swim and try to eat well, there's only so much battering a fellow can take. Skateboarding has kept me young up to this point, but I'm starting to feel my age. So, when someone at the hotel gave their notice, and my boss offered me increased hours if I came back to work for them, I thought about it for a day, then decided to bail on the skateboard camp position.
Call it self-preservation. I turned my back on what might have proven to be a rewarding, though strenuous and risky endeavour in favour for what I already know will be a tedious and predictable stint at the hotel front desk. But they pay ok, and the job doesn't wreck my knees or back. I'm partly relieved; I never have to skateboard again, if I don't feel like it. But a sort of quiet desparation has also set in, though maybe that's being a little over-dramatic. Actually, I'm not really all that desparate. Just happy to be alive, employed, intact (more or less) and old.