Last Thursday I was skateboarding on the Presidio (Army base) in San Francisco, and inadvertently got into a faster-than-is-safe-for-me situation. Accelerating, gaining speed, not able to carve back and forth enough to slow down. When it gets past the point when I can no longer bail and stay on my feet, I’m in trouble. In my mind for months has been Cliff Coleman’s mantra regarding a skateboard crash:
Just remember 4 words:
which assumes you are wearing gloves with hard-disc palm pads, and that once you’re sliding on pavement, get on your belly (or knees) and let the pads take the friction.
As I got down to the end of the blocked-off block, with a lot of cars to pile into, going maybe 25mph, I headed for a grass bank, jumped off my board just before it hit the curb, and did a skimming front-first dive onto the grass. Just lay there taking stock of body parts. Pain in right shoulder, but not bad. I just lay there in the sun, glad to be alive and unbroken. No one had seen me.
Something I learned from competitive diving in high school: go right back and do the dive again if you blow it, especially there’s pain involved. So I took my board back up and started from a more reasonable spot, and had a nice multi-turning in-control downhill run.
It was a great day. On the way home I went for a run on the mountain, and went down a canyon to a creek where there are pools with waterfalls, ducked into one, revitalized by the spirit of Mount Tamalpais.