Here we go, again.
Well, I am out of commission for a short bit. Yesterday I went to the park to skate a 5' mini ramp. I was getting warmed-up on a little 2' quarter pipe. On my fifth warm-up trick (a b/s disaster), I slid-out. My kneecap went straight to the coping. Session over. Swelling, bruising, and limping. I'm now off the board for a few days because of it. I hadn't put pads on yet (for the 5' ramp) because I wasn't yet "skating seriously enough to need them." How laughable is that? Irony always wins in the end.
Upon knee/coping impact I had an, "OK, I am fuckin' DONE with this" moment that is best summed up in this paraphrased comment by an Internet friend.
"I am not too concerned about pain, or getting hurt. What I am concerned about is injury, because that means I can't do things I care about (like skating). I wear pads all the time. I don't mind taking the extra time, and maybe even looking a bit silly, if means I don't have to sit on the sidelines for days/weeks as my body heals from something that was easily preventable. I want to skate, not wait to skate."
I've been skating for over 30 years. I know more than anyone that injury is inescapable. That said, at 47-years-old, I now have greater desire to mitigate those inevitable injuries. What galls me the most about this particular one is how utterly avoidable and unnecessary it was. Slip on the knee pads, and I would be skating instead of typing right now. I think because (a) this was such a simple/dumb injury, (b) that was 100% preventable, (c) on such a small ramp, (d) on such an easy trick, (e) that occurred moments before I was about to put my pads on (for a bigger ramp), that it actually shines a much brighter light on the larger issue.
All this said, I already rock pads more than most skaters. And after yesterday, I think I might start rocking them even more in the future, even when I am "not skating seriously enough to need them." I'm kind of "done" with these small, stupid injuries that could absolutely be avoided. Not like I haven't written about this exact issue before. This time feels a bit different, however. Time will tell. My proclivity to act against my own self-interest, at times, seems to have no bounds.