The human body after a certain age (25 - 30 - 35?) doesn't take impact quite so well as it did prior to that age. My desire to jump or tumble or fall is diminishing by the day. Pain seems to hurt more and recovery time is increased. I think this phenomenom is a function of how many blows you took when you were younger/immortal/bullet proof.

What I mean is this: Had I know then what I know now (i.e. how much my knees/ankles/back would hurt today), I probably would have done things differently. But alas, my  athleticism fooled me into thinking that I was destined to play professional sports someday so I played hard and threw my body into every scrum, pile up, oncoming blocker, went across the middle and jumped to my full ability to catch every high pass, blasted through every catcher guarding home plate and took every hard charge to draw the offensive foul that came my way.

Unfortunately, athleticism does not make one aworld class athlete. High jumping for the college track team my freshmen year was the end of the road for me (well, except for church ball, and pick up games here and there).

The Bottom Line is this: The aches in my 46 year old body outweigh the adulations from the former glory days of my youth. Those days are but a memory, but the aches, unfortunately, will likely never go away.

Jeff Watson notes:

Being no stranger to skateboarding, skateboarders, and skateparks, I will note that the helmet issue is a very contentious issue with the skaters. I tried insisting with my son on wearing a helmet, which was a battle I quickly lost. especially for the freestyle casual skating. His excuse was that he never saw me wear a helmet while skating or riding a bicycle, for that matter. Plus, the peer group pressure was just too great for me to overcome. However, almost everyone wears helmets when they are lucky enough to find a pool, bowl, or good concrete drainage ditch to skate in as the danger level is moderately high. Personally, I still skate decently and quite often at the age of 53 and I always wear a helmet, as I learned that from the school of hard knocks. 

Pitt T. Maner III writes:

Having had bad wrist injuries in my family I would worry a little bit about that too. It's a balancing act though with being too overprotective and letting kids learn the risks themselves. My worst accident was falling out of a tree and breaking my arm. A memorable learning moment was shooting a BB gun at the ground and having it richocet right back between the eyes.

At age 8, started thinking about safety after that. You don't forget stupid mistakes like that. Better to learn with a BB gun then with a .22. You wonder though how my dad's generation survived– sending up home-made hydrogen balloons with Roman Candles, playing around with any number of electrical circuits, Windhurst machines, transformers/electrical coils, making thermite "bombs" to burn holes in the asphalt street outside, making home-made wine from Scuppenong grapes with occasional explosion of bottles, shooting at each other with BB guns, shooting guns in general, slingshot accidents, riding unruly ponies, high pressure German steam engine toys, playing with massive M-80s and other potent fireworks from Texas and on and on. Wild Indians and Mad Scientists at work.


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