Tag Archives: balls

When the lights are out, it’s less dangerous

Like a Resuscitation Annie CPR doll and a cold sixer, my speedskating life and this blog go hand in hand. Or like *something* in *something else*. You get the picture. For years, I was having lots of fun poking fun at myself and our sport in ways that let my inner deviant spread its satanic verses like a jihadi suicide bomber’s inerds, at a least-expected moment in a well-populated marketplace, and all over the front of an innocent’s Shalwar-Kameez.  Yes – Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Blessed Festivus – Santa is answering prayers this year and yours just came up on the underside of a urinal cake: First Loser is back.

Forcast is calling for sin. Leave us.

The prognosis is sinful. Leave us.

It’s been with me for a while, the idea of picking this up again. Like a festering serving of pop-radio drivel that’s tunneled its way into your ear, onto your brain and taken up residence in your every-waking thought. For weeks, the idea of breathing new life into First Loser has finally come to a place where I need to deal with it head-on. Since the only way to rid oneself of an ear-worm is to indulge the id-terloper…here we are now, entertain us.

Be warned, my Super-ego is showing no signs of intervention here. We’re coming back full blast, like a Mexicali truck driver on his 84th hour behind the wheel, fueled by 5-Hour Energy and jalapeno poppers. Gas-masks are advised.

It’s been a while since I put any meaningful time into this thing, that’s if you consider what I’ve published before and up till now anything like “meaningful.” There’s a simple reason for it…namely, it’s that my relationship with my skates has changed, again. And again and again and again it changes again. I love them, I hate them, but never really hate them, love them and hate them again. It’s on, off, on, at least five to seven times a week. I’ve never really stopped or left the sport, but I still feel like I’m away and that I’ve not even yet really come back. And, I’m serious, I skate all the time. But my head’s not in it. It’s constantly a struggle. At this point, I skate to keep myself in pizza. That’s really not the ethic that got me to where I was. But it’s a motive that’s hard to shake…especially now that Christmas Cookie season is upon us, and my belly.

The reason for the weezin' at mile 24...

The reason for the weezin’ at mile 24…

At one point, it ceased being fun and it became work, every damn day. And that got to be too much, especially for where my “inline career” was headed. At 40, it really wasn’t going anywhere, fast. Silly-Wabbit, Gold-On-A-Rope dreams are for kids I told myself, so I decided to just tone it down, go low-profile and take a much-needed break. I mean, I was looking for inline fart-jokes wherever I could find them for this blog, and it all started to stink up the place in my head. The noise around me, the blog and my skating was too loud and not very well directed, so I had to peel-off the pack and put it on cruise control for a while. But I guess if Soundgarden and Nirvana can get back together, I can start blogging about this thing I love to hate, and live to do, still, this thing we do called Inline Speedskating.

I’m coming clean here: I haven’t been able to shake the Christmas weight from last year – about 13 pounds. And it’s not that I haven’t tried. But I stopped working as hard as I used to, and my body has said, “Get back! I’m alright Jack, keep your hands off of my stack,” when it comes to my efforts to shed. Ellipticals and bikes, weights and running, all on top of all the regular “heart-rate” skating. But it’s not going anywhere, and I’m getting tired of lugging it around again. So it’s time to hit the training like I used to, if for no other reason than to trick my metabolism just long enough to think I might compete again. Cause if I’m thinking about going to Duluth in 2013, and I believe that thought, then my body will respond, and I’ll get back to where it was.

But the reality is, I don’t think I’ll go again. Not in 2013 at least. I’m in SoCal now, and it’s just too damn far and too damn time-consuming to even think about seriously. So I need to figure something else out. It ain’t gonna be competing indoors, because the nearest indoor teams and practices are over an hour away. And ice is no-bueno muchacho. Fuggedaboudit. Where the pavement giveth, the ice taketh away, and I’m not into being THAT technical about anything. Ice ain’t happening.

So maybe it’ll be a few inline races in SoCal next year, but honestly, I’m not even excited about that idea. I mean, I think about it, and if I’m on the trail when the thought hits, I’ll peel off on a three-mile flyer and pat myself on the back when I’m done and cruising with my hands on my knees for a half-mile in recovery. But right now, I can’t maintain that pace like I used to, you know, before Louie Lovehandles took up residence in my mid-section.

So I guess I need to come back to the place serious skaters know – that place where it’s all live to roll and roll to live. It’s not that I don’t want to be there, I’m just not sure I’m willing to pay the price of admission.

I feel stoopid, and contagious – come along for the ride, we’ll see where this goes. Again.

Droop Doggie Dogg

The Nutcracker…it’s that time of year when Tchaikovsky’s beloved libretto can be heard and seen daily, even in the aisles of your local Wal-Mart. But I’m not here to talk about ballet, (though the outfits and leg mass of dancers and inline speed skaters are similar in many ways…) No, I’m referring to a painful indignity that comes with age and crossovers…Testicularasarus. That’s right…boxers, briefs, bikinis…bollocks! It don’t matter how you dress ’em…we’re talkin’ balls, baby.

There's a reason you don't wear boxers under your skin suit...all great performers know this.

When it comes to gravity’s impact on the human body, it’s all too common to hear about how those lovely “Dolly Partons” head south for the winter of life. Yeah, yeah…we get it. Especially if you’re talking to a group of women who’ve nurtured their cubs the natural way…”Ah, the ‘girls’ aren’t what they used to be. 7 kids and two reductions later and you’d never know I looked better than Lee Meriwether in that Catwoman costume when I wore my first skin suit.”

"I was on Star Trek too and I know what you did when you were watching...meeowww."

But women have ways of making the best of what they’ve got, for as long as they’ve got it. They can lift, separate, compress, go strapless, hands free, get full coverage, make a special occasion sexy…the list goes on and on. Men, on the other hand, suffer the ill effects of gravity in silence and without the aid of a “ballssiere.” Thus, with our seed sac’s hanging between our legs, a right leg crossover becomes, well, freaking dangerous. It doesn’t seem to matter which kind of underwear you wear either, although certainly boxers are by far the stupidest choice for skaters. As you get older, the berries fall further from the bush, and you need to know how to handle yourself. It’s not like the coach pulls you aside and say, “here’s your skates, helmet and jock strap.” They may prepare like that at the Pro level, but your average rink rat isn’t getting that type of advice. I’ve never heard anyone mention the perils of dangling do-dad’s, and the distress of the aging male indoor inline speed skater. It’s an open, albeit lonesome secret, only ever spoken of in hushed tones in the center of the rink, outside of earshot of the young’uns and lady folk.

The Danger Zone of which Kenny Logins sang.

My friends…our days of silent suffering are over. Cod-busting is a very real danger we face as *mature* indoor inline speed skaters, and it’s time for a frank discussion of the realities of drooping nads, and how to prevent injury and preserve the pelvis ornaments…at least until I perfect these zero gravity shorts. All you young guys can take a seat too, here’s what you’re in for someday…

The first and only real step toward ensuring your pendulous cobblers don’t become ensnared in a crossover is adequate warm-up before you attempt such a move. Strapping on your skates and rolling right out onto the floor in a  chillackadaisical manner brings on Testicularasarus quicker than you can say…”OWWWWWWW!” You’ve got to give ‘the boys’ time to elasticate…let that blood flow be redirected to other parts of the body that need it, like your legs. Start with some easy laps and don’t be too quick to tuck into base position in the corners. Take those first few corners standing. Get the legs moving in the straightaways, then get back up and glide to turns. 3 to 5 rolling minutes and discrete adjustment once your sling shrinks will help you avoid those sharp facial contortions that elicit the obligatory, “What happened? Are you OK?” inquiries from innocent skate moms sitting on the bench…

There’s really not a lot more you can do…As we age, our skin loses its taughtness, no matter how toned we are. I’ve heard it said that as men age, our noses, earlobes and kerbangers continue to grow. The truth is, it’s gravitational force causing our noses, ears, eyelids and manjigglies to grow longer. It’s gravity literally pulling on all those fleshy, non-muscular masses that have slowly lost their ability to resist over time. Sadly, your pecker won’t elongate, but your bobber buds will someday find the floor, relatively speaking.

Just take it slow to start, and let your tenders have the time they need to get up and out of the way of those vice-like, monster Quads. And for goodness-sake, don’t panic when you hit the showers after your workout and you look like a pre-schooler in the pants. Package shrink is an important part of athletic performance, protecting your hanging brain from permanent damage. At some point in life, you really do need to stop worrying about size…

So here’s to you, Speed Weenie. You suit up like a sausage with your junk on full display for all the world to see. You put your nuts on the line every day for your sport, risking your scrot just for the hell of it. So what if there’s no fame or glory or gold on a rope in it for you? You flirt with testicular trauma when others are off bowling, knowing that at any moment your Cracker Jacks could be crunched, leaving you on the floor, crying like a four year old who just discovered that you can’t take a flying leap and land on a sofa arm in a full straddle. You know the meaning of cojones, you’re the keeper of the family jewels. Let them laugh at you and call you a “roller skater,” because you know the definition of what it takes to be a real man…you and your rolling rocks and a need for testosterone-fueled speed. For those about to turn and burn, we salute you!