Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Falling Daily

Last night I had a dream about a red racer snake, a kind of snake which I had never heard of before. This particular snake was special: it was the first snake to be as well-trained like the dogs from Lassie, and was thus in show biz. It could follow, fetch, go where directed, roll over, play dead, and even (gently) shake. The snake itself was amazingly happy: it wanted nothing more that to meet, smell, and greet as many new people as possible. The snake's owner was also happy, since he got an easy deal in show biz: an appreciated star for which people have low expectations who travels well while on tour. I was just someone normal who got to meet the famous and friendly snake.

I dream most nights. Many of my dreams are scary.

Only twice have I had a dream that seemed to be a message from God, and both of these were about specific personal ways I needed to improve myself.

Three nights ago I had a silly dream in which I learned to skateboard.

Last summer I learned to play disc golf, but it never "stuck" with me. Disc golf can be good exercise if you run the course (basically jogging while throwing things). But I live too far from the disc golf course to go their to exercise -- the bicycle ride there and back would in itself be a nice amount of exercise. It can also be fun if you have a group of friends that play disc golf together, but I don't.

So now it's a new summer and I considered giving my silly skateboarding dream more attention than it deserved. After meeting a congregant for lunch yesterday I stopped by a local "board sports" shop and investigated buying a skateboard. They are not very expensive, so I wound up making a purchase and skateboarding home. (I had roller-bladed to my lunch appointment.)

The fact that I could simply get on a skateboard and go 30 blocks astounded me. The last time I had stepped onto a skateboard was freshman year of high school, and I could only go about 5 feet before falling off. Somehow I have more balance and coordination now than I did then. (My wife gives credit to our swing dancing.)

I fell once during that trip, big time. I didn't hurt myself since I was wearing my roller-blading wrist guards. Today I fell again, not leaning forward enough while trying to go down and up in a local skateboard bowl. Once I learn to kickturn more than a few degrees I can have fun at this skateboard bowl.

Besides the fact it's fun exercise with a low financial entry cost, I'm looking forward to how my swing dancing improves from time spent skateboarding. The skateboarding involves torso twisting (what swing dancers call "hip isolations"), which I'm lousy at. It also exercises my abdomen and shoulders more than other activity I normally do, which will help my swing dancing form.