My palms are sweaty. My heart is pounding. My knees are shaking. I know I’m going to fall. I just know it. I’m just anticipating how hard the impact is going to be. I look down the ramp and it looks really high up. I’m contemplating just backing down. Then I hear my son screaming, “Just do it daddy!”
He feels like he has an advantage on me because he went down the ramp on his scooter and fell on his bottom. He just shook it off and gave me the scooter and asked me to now do it. I told him that I probably wouldn’t be able to shake off my fall as easily as he did. I try to give him as many excuses for why I should just sit this one out but it was futile.
A part of me wants to do it because now my pride is on the line. I ask the kids on top of the ramp who were doing some sick tricks on the scooter and skateboard what I should do. They give me some wise advice and tell me that I’ll be okay as long as I bend my knees.
My son is still incessantly telling me to “Just do it!” Now I’m regretting why I brought him to the Simi Valley Skate Park for his 7th birthday. I should have just taken him to Chuck E Cheese or one of those indoor playgrounds. We could be doing skeeball or sliding down inflatables. Instead I’m here with these crazy skaters and scooter maniacs. I’m trapped. I have to overcome my fear and show these punks – I mean kids – what an adult is really made of. I have to show my son that his dad was once a legitimate skater.
I muster up enough courage and think of the days when I would scream out “Skate or die!” I hold tight on the razor scooter and begin my descent down the ramp. I’m picking up speed and I zoom down the ramp. I’m safely at the bottom and all of a sudden I hear a thud. My head and hips hit the floor. One of the kids ask me “Are you okay mister?” I want to yell out in pain but I act cool and get back up with a limp. Fortunately, I was wearing a bicycle helmet so I was okay but I have scrapes and bruises.
I walk back to the benches where my wife is sitting and by now she is shaking her head. I tell her I crashed going down the ramp and I probably have a minor concussion. I’m trying to gain some sympathy. She says I don’t have a concussion. I probably don’t but you never know.
What did I learn? There is a fine line between stupidity and courage. But, I think it was worth having 3-4 days of body aches for my son to learn that in life, you sometimes have to take risks. You have to just go for it, even when you know you’re going to fall, or fail, get hurt and suffer pain. I think it’s when we fall and fail that we learn, grow, and get even stronger.