There is something in my male ego that wouldn’t let me act afraid. I think the fact that I didn’t know Brooks that well kept me from saying “no”. Whatever it was, I found myself at the summit of Emigration Canyon prepared to ride a skateboard into the night. I had planned to spend the evening watching T.V.
I had sweaty palms and weak knees but still, there I was, prepared to push off down a canyon road at nine p.m. simply because I didn’t want to look like a punk in front of some new friends.
The plan was that two of us would board while the third would follow in the car to both provide light with the headlights, and warn oncoming traffic of our approach. These guys hadn’t done this before either but had heard the idea is to keep your speed in check by turning as much as possible and just before you get going too fast you simply jump off the board and hit the ground running as the board coasts into the embankment. They didn’t question the plan, so I kept my mouth shut about any doubts.
I began weaving back and forth crossing both lanes, using as much of the road as possible. I could feel the vibrations in my feet as rough asphalt passed under the wheels. The wind was cold on my face as I began leaning harder into the turns. My heart beat faster, adrenaline was flowing, and an uncontrollable grin spread across my face. I loved it. As the road got steeper I picked up more speed.
I was at the point where I should be jumping off. I didn’t. I wanted to see how far I could push it. With my pulse racing I began to eye the snow banks along the side of the road, planning to use one to break my eventual fall. With an escape route in mind I let gravity take its course. I began to put real distance between me and the other rider. I left him, the car, and the headlights behind. I took comfort in the ever present piles of snow that seamed to glow in the night, and went just a little faster.
I had to lean hard as the turns got tighter, the fall was coming. I watched in horror as the reflective snow gave way to a steel guardrail. Guardrails mean steep drop offs and I briefly cursed myself for being brave. I had no choice but to take this one last turn and try to stay upright. I crouched low and leaned hard.
That was about two months ago. My hands have healed nicely barely leaving any scars. I never did go get my wrist checked out; I can finally put enough pressure on it to do a push-up. The guys called me again the other night but I had already proved myself. The pressure to protect my manhood was gone. This time I went because I wanted to.
My wife bought me my own longboard for my 27th birthday.