29 April 2013

Look Forward to Watch Your Behind

     A friend of mine, Seth Blair, had an experience this weekend that he learned quite a bit from. He let me share his story so that we could all learn something. This is what he wrote:

     Today, I decided it would be a great idea to ride my swanky new longboard around Old Town Pocatello. 
      Well, I live just up the hill from there, so I decided to just ride on down there. In the six years that I've been riding a longboard, I've never gone down a hill that I hadn't scouted first. I'd check for piles of sand/gravel, potholes, places to turn out to if I needed to bail, etc. Well, today, I forsook my old ways and discovered that it wasn't because I was a phenomenal rider that I'd never had a nasty wreck, it was thanks to prior planning and some preparation. I also used to wear a helmet and gloves every time I got on. I decided to toss that one out, too. Well, I started ripping along at about thirty, and saw a parking lot that I drive past almost every day. I've never paid it much heed, so I thought, that's a great spot to bleed a little speed.
     Well, thanks to my lack of scouting, it did just the opposite. It had enough of a downward slope that I picked up even more speed. At that point, I knew I was doomed. I was going pretty close to forty, and I knew that there was no chance to run it down by jumping off. So, I looked for some grass that would be far more forgiving than concrete, or asphalt. I saw a tiny parking strip on a street that was running perpendicular to the street that I was now on. I knew that was my last chance before I gained even more speed. So, I tried to angle in on it so that I could land in it, and roll to a stop. I never made it. My board washed out in some gravel, and I tried to get my feet beneath me. They got under me, but as soon as they touched the street, they were plucked out from under me. My shoulder took the brunt of the impact, but I also managed to slightly scalp myself and remove a large portion of the skin from my left shoulder. I got a concussion, my first, and I'll be getting some x-rays of my chest tomorrow to evaluate the extent if damage there. This has been an incredibly valuable, yet painful, lesson to me. If one has the ability to look at what is to come one's way before it actually arrives, one would be a fool to not do so. Preparation and planning are SO crucial to success, especially when the stakes are high. So, let my silly butt be a lesson for all of us. Let's not assume that we'll know what to do or where to go in any given situation. Let's plan ahead, scout out the way, and learn from other people's mistakes.
      So there we have it folks. This is an excellent example of how important it is to plan ahead and understand what may happen. To help illustrate the point, Seth shared some pictures of the aftermath. They get progressively worse, so this is your official warning. There are some slightly graphic images below.

Close-up of the shoulder

Scalped section about the size of a quarter.

1 comment :

  1. Great lesson! Sorry you had to go through it though. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us so that we might think before leaping onto the proverbial 'long boards' in our life.