Well, I did it again. Every few months I break one my "rules." I did it again on Saturday, and I am now paying the price. My rules are not arbitrary. The originate from experiential, and practical reasons. Here was one other time I broke one of the rules, and what happened as a consequence.
One of my rules is The 4' Pad Rule: Always wear knee/elbow pads on ramps 4' high or taller.
On Saturday I went over to the 4' mini I skate all the time. I had my pads (and skate shoes) in my bag. However, when I got there, there were these two younger dudes skating the ramp I had never seen before. For some unknown reason my ego took over (which almost never happens), and I didn't want to immediately be "the old-guy-in-pads." So, I started warming-up on the ramp without my pads on, and without even putting my skate shoes on (my "regular" shoes are Vans, too, so it wasn't a major difference). I skated for about 30 min, and was skating pretty well...but I knew it was coming, and then it finally did.
I slipped out on some trick (think it was a b/s disaster to b/s revert) and went straight to my knee cap on the flat. I tried to shift to my side to avoid direct impact, but it was too late. I stopped skating for about 15 min because of the pain. I immediately put my pads on when I did start skating again. But the damage was already done. It hurt like hell, and was swelling up. Worse, it was damage that was 100% avoidable. Even worse, my The 4' Pad Rule is in place because I have, more or less, done this exact same thing before. Hopefully this time I learned.
But wait, it gets worse! I started taking ice skating lessons a few weeks ago (I hope to someday start playing ice hockey). Ice is hard, and slippery. The following Tuesday, I was wearing some really thin volleyball-type knee pads under my pants during the lesson. During class I went down hard on my knees. Hard enough that the thin volleyball pads didn't do much good. A few days later, and my knee cap is getting better, but still a bit sore...sore enough where I am staying of the board (and ice) for a few days. So lame. So avoidable.
Moral of the story: Follow your own rules. There are real reasons they are in place.