Dampness,Demons and Deliverance


A crumpled body prostrate on the uncompromising floor of a concrete bowl.I have been there many times before. The aim of this Sunday afternoon’s adventure was to avoid this position at all costs.

Skating had become an activity I had practised in the past. Like many interests the trend started when circumstances (read rain and dampness) prevented me from my usual  sessions. The onset of winter darkness and the lack of hang time with anyone remotely skate orientated took it’s toll too. I began to think of it as something that others did elsewhere.

It was with some relief that I spotted my opportunity. A beautiful day dawned with blue skies and an easterly zephyr that was just enough to dry the local bowl out. A determined effort ensued with brushes, dust pans and cat litter (do n’t ask :Ed) to remove the dreaded wetness from the base of the bowl. After forty minutes of work and a break of another half hour to allow for reluctant evaporation to take place I was ready to go. Whilst putting on my pads some unwelcome  visitors made my acquittance.

”You have not skated for a long time.”

”What if you cannot drop in and you lose it on the first transition?”

”What if you fall on your back and crack your head?”

”You are too old for this now. Your brittle bones will snap like pan toffee”

”Go home old man”

The Demons sat on my shoulder and peppered me  with negativity and quick sand like doubt for five long minutes. They sucked on my will and self esteem. I considered the small glassy surf passed up for an afternoon’s skate. Some foul work related stuff floated up to the surface.

”That ‘s it” I said to myself and dropped in.The first time for three months.With some backside grinds in the deep end and an hours skating later the world became a different place.