Monday, May 03, 2010

Minimally Effective Monday

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I needed to learn how to in-line skate so that I could practice with Eli 8.9. Our first session last week went very well-- no injuries-but yesterday was a disaster.

The Prime Directive of learning a new sport: generate no more speed than you can control.

Magically, my efficiency had improved dramatically between skating sessions, so I was generating power much more consistently. I was also going much faster, which I didn't realize.

Second point to remember: the faster you go, the lower you should be, and it's impossible to be too low. As a new skater though, I made the classic mistake of actually raising up slightly as I gained speed. So even though my number one objective was to NOT fall on my ass, that's just what I did. Hard.

I also fell on my hands in that fall,and if I hadn't been wearing wrist guards, I'm sure I would've broken my wrist. As it is, my left wrist just feels sprained, and I've got it wrapped up.So I'll be on voice recognition the next few days, which tends to be a bit sketchy.

Incredibly I had a second fall five minutes later, when I was just coasting to grab the standard beneath a basketball goal. That time, I hit my head--again I can't believe this happened--and without a helmet, I'm sure I would've had a concussion. My neck hurts a little today, and I'm a little sore,but I'm no more stupid or forgetful that I normally am.

I skated for another 30 minutes with no more falls, which is like saying Johnstown had a good year except for the flood.

So now I know the sneaky danger of in-line skating-- you can be fine 99% of the time, but the falls can be apocalyptic.

The funny thing is that in-line skating is so much easier than riding a unicycle. It's not even close in terms of difficulty. But it's very difficult in unicycling to generate speed until you're a decent rider, so your falls generally have somewhat limited downside (bloody knees), whereas in in-line skating, any idiot (me) can go quite fast. So the challenge with in-line skating is entirely different-- it's much more about managing speed that it is managing balance.

Quit? You must be new here. I'm way too stupid to quit. So I ordered crash shorts today (padded), and I'm going to get a hockey helmet (better back of head protection) to wear instead of the cycling helmet I wear when I unicycle.

Onward, into the fog.

Site Meter