Sunday, December 11, 2016

Der Winter Ist Angekommen.

Der Winter ist angekommen. Everything sounds more ominous in German (Winter has arrived).

Winter has arrived. Temps finally dropped into the 30s this week. Real feel was 17 degrees last night. The first real snow is supposed to be coming in two days. Winter is notoriously bad in New England. Being a skateboarder during dark months is always a challenge. Not only is it cold, but there is the sand. And salt. They put it down in the roads, streets and parking lots. It gets everywhere, and does not get cleaned up until the spring, usually in April. Nightmare. The broom, the parking garage, and lots of layers are winter skater’s friend. And I haven't even mentioned the snow, ice, and sleet yet. Yeah, there are indoor parks, but they are far away, crowded in winter, and I’ve *never* liked the atmosphere of indoor parks—I just would much rather be outside. 

The mini-half is much easier to shovel out than the entire street course. In early 2016 I shoveled it, and a path, at a local park.  
 I shouldn’t complain much. All of October and November were above normal temps (much like most of the world now is). It didn’t rain much. There was a drought, actually. We had a really good run this summer, and fall. But now it will be below freezing for a few months. It is harder to move in winter because of wearing more layers, and feet go numb. Everything feels sluggish, and takes more effort. It takes longer to get warmed-up (in every meaning of the word). Under Armour cold gear. Winter beanies. Sweat shirts. Thick gloves. Face masks. Cold toes. Slams that hurt more. Chapped lips. All the hallmarks of skating in New England winter.  

Shit got crazy in 2015. I biked home from work that night. 5 miles. Went skating the next day, when it warmed up to -5 degrees.  There is a fine line between hardcore, and stupid. I am way over on the stupid side.

 As a kid I used to skate all winter in my parent’s basement. There wasn’t much room, but there was space for a tiny ¼ pipe, a make shift curb (stall tricks only, no room for moving grind/slides), and slow moving flatland. If I lived in the suburbs, I would still do that, even at the age of 42. An apartment in the big city, however, doesn’t lend itself to well to basement skating. No question, I skate less in the winter. Always have. Always will. The weather just complicates things. People in the south, south west, and California don’t realize how good they have it. It is unfathomable to think that I could skate year-round in “warm” weather.

In some respects, I welcome the winter, especially this one, and to the fact that I won’t be skating as much. I’ve been pretty banged up this summer and fall. Old-man problems with tendonitis in my knee, and Achilles. I hope that less time on the board will help with recovery. It’s just too hard to NOT skate during the nice weather, which certainly doesn’t help things heal-up as quickly as they could/should. Like much in life, winter can be a mixed blessing. I just hope this one ends quickly, and without too much snow, or super cold weather. Onwards we go into the cold darkness.  

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