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.
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.
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.