The Active Lifestyle
Now, I doubt that there is a single Marathon Training Program that suggests you spend any time at all on a skateboard the day before a Marathon (or Half-Marathon for Gimpy and me). And, it is that kind of closed-minded thinking that allows me to ignore any and all training programs. We are driving a long distance to run a long distance. During that drive we will pass many skateparks. It is our obligation to skate some of them. So, first stop: Powell Skatepark.
We do a U-turn near the park when we see a Tim Horton’s sign and pick up some sustenance: coffee and donuts (all this plus a ham sandwich and muffin for me). The caffeine and sucrose works its magic and we are off to the park. The session is on! Gimpy is on fire in the pool - over the stairs! A feat I cannot complete despite my attempts. Mofo is kickflipping everything in the street course and he gets some extra long tailslides on the three foot quarter. This same quarter refuses me the satisfaction of a decent frontside 5-0; I settle for a couple of minor (read: lame) ones. Satisfaction comes when Gimpy jokingly throws the gauntlet and I, missing the fact that the challenge is a joke, grind over the DeathBox - multiple times.
We pack it in and polish off some Greek food at the slowest empty restaurant known to man. I cannot describe our amusement at a fictional improvisation act by one member of the group, so I won’t try. But, the hilarity of the comedic performance grows over time and it soon becomes the weekend mantra and elicits a laugh every time we reference it. We repeat the theatrics over and over and laugh for the next 150 miles while we drive to Evolution Skatepark in Canton, Ohio.
Evolution is a Team Pain Park. It is has perfect transitions everywhere. In it is the bowl - THEEEEE BOWL! It is a thing of beauty and awe with a 5-foot section that bottle-necks and drops to 11 or 12 feet. Both areas have tight, grindable ends, and there, perched atop the coping in the 5 to 11 foot drop, stands a wooden vert extension mockingly inviting an attempt. I accept the invitation and hear the patented “Mofo Guffaw of Approval” - a sound Mofo makes when a Concretin throws down something he does not expect. I roll away proud of the accomplishment and I repeat it frontside and backside ad naseum. This bowl deserves a day to itself, not a few passing runs while trying to squeak in other parts of the park – it is nothing but f-u-n – which spells ‘gnarly.’
The place sports a Mini with a double spine, - that's right, not one, but two beautiful spines leading to a wall ride to send you back over to home base. (editor’s note: I got a little teary when I noticed that it is affectionately anotated as “Spinezilla” on Concrete Disciples) Mofo kills. He’s taking it easy but he throws a dictionary full of lip-trick combinations. The ramp tries to kill Gimpy delivering a nasty-looking pelvic slam from one of the spines. Our hero survives to tell the tale and drive on. Behind the Mini is a sweet 5 foot half-cylinder that we must one day measure and replicate in Travis’s barn for future training sessions.
Evolution has all of this and two sections we don’t even skate because of a birthday party and the groms that are swarmin the areas like bees in a hive. It is now two hours after we began and we leave feeling like we can do more, so we forward on to Akron for the final skate.
In the car, Kyle attempts to lower our expectations; he knows from a recent skate at Akron that it will pale in comparison to the last sessions. But, we must skate it – we are too close not to skate it! Traffic is terrible and it gets worse as we get closer to the park. Shit! We can’t get in the park! Well, we can - but we will waste at least another hour sitting in high school football traffic and pay $3 to park, so we leave. We leave and Kyle consoles us with examples of the park’s lameness. It doesn’t weigh on us too hard – there is a nagging feeling that the purpose of the trip lies outside of skateboarding, but we just can’t put our finger on it at the moment.
So, a thousand-mile flight for me; hours of driving for everyone; non-stop hilarity; two gnarly, multi-hour skate sessions; an ass-load of poor nutrition: we are now at the end of our day before the torture that is The Long Distance Road Race. I guess we’ve trained hard enough. All we gotta do now is get our one and a half hour of sleep and go run some stupid amount of mileage.
Saturday, September 29, 2007: The race is great and goes without a hitch, but that’s not a story for a skateblog.
Patented Skidzilla Wake-Up Call - Kyle was most enthused!
26.2 Miles! To Quote Travio, "That's just STOOPIT!"
Final Concretin Ohio Skate Score: 2 for 3.