Overheard

It’s truly interesting what I over hear when I am walking between classes. Love lives falling apart, teachers not being fair or unclear about what they want. Sometimes just daily life.

On my way here I “overheard” three girls discussing the difference between a long board and a short board. Seeing we are in the middle of Southern Oregon I could only deduce that they were talking about skateboards.  A young girl wearing high heels and clothing to go with them was waxing poetic how “sweet” it is to come down the hill that leads onto campus and past the library. The “smooth ride and speed are amazing” This made me melancholy and thoughtful of years gone by and early campus days in the 70’s.

Now, I wouldn’t even think about getting on a skate board. I’m a non-traditional student whose bones would take longer to heal than these kids have been alive. Have I developed fear or just common sense? Either way the thought of walking around with a leg in a cast or more likely of spending time in traction steers me away from some of this youthful craziness.

Some of the speeds that these kids develop coming downhill on long boards sends chills up and down my spine. I’ve seen them “blow through” stop signs and worse yet stoplights without slowing down or even looking for traffic. Makes you wish for the days of feeling of invincibile…or does it?.

Having lived through the days and years of body surfing waves meant only for boards, skiing down hill at breakneck speeds (or at least what felt that way) and scuba diving in the kelp beds off the California coast, I’m content with the slower life.

Last weekend Angela and I went snowshoeing again on Mt. Ashland. The temperature was 24 degrees, the sun was playing hide and seek through the clouds and the snow was soft. We ventured toward the valley for about a mile and a half and stopped to take in the view. On the way back up I started to break a sweat…a heavy sweat. The brace on my right leg was digging into my shin, my left knee ached and I thought that it was too soon after surgery to be doing this. I needed a break. We stopped to enjoy the view again. These stops became more frequent and longer. Damn where is the “wussy” setting on this elliptical trainer…and there’s no getting off.

I began to wounder if I had ever run half marathon, if I had ever really skied down hill at break-neck speed and had I ever, ever ridden a skateboard down a college campus hill thinking “How sweet it is.”

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