It’s as easy as falling off a skateboard…

posted in: Decisions, Launch, Mindset | 0

It’s as easy as falling off a skateboard…


My name is Bernie, I’m 51 and 11 months and I fell off a skateboard last Saturday.

There, I’ve said it, admitted it. I’m an idiot.

We were having a family party get-together thing to celebrate our youngest – Ruby – coming back from a summer spent on camp in Pennsylvania teaching horse riding and also doing well in her A levels and getting to Durham Uni.

We were all busy cleaning, tidying, cooking, chopping wood, slicing lemons, rearranging cushions – you get the idea – and I was on an errand connected with some friends staying over for the weekend. It was about a mile away so I thought I’d make it quicker (and more fun) and take the longboard with me.

Coming back I was on a gravelly road and I reassured myself that it was fine because it has big wheels so could roll, the board is wide and the trucks (axles) were tight so no speed wobble…then we came to a hill downwards…

It starts off slowly and I check-in with myself ‘yep, that’s ok…no gravel…all ok’

A bit steeper ‘ yep, still ok, no wobble…’

A bit faster ok, a bit fast now but still no wobble or stones or cracks in the tarmac…’

Faster now ‘ ok, still no – hang on is that a wobble, nah, it’s ok…’

Fast and near the bottom of the hill where there’s a left hand turn ‘ok, yes, that’s too fast, is that a wobble? Yes, I should get offfffffffff…………….run, slap slap, trip, oooowwwwwwwwww!’.

I jumped off in a panic, didn’t realise the speed, slapped my feet on the road, tripped up the verge, slid for 6 metres in the grass / mud, my rucksack over balanced me and I ended up doing a summersault and landing upside down with my glasses at a jaunty angle!

After first checking that my new phone wasn’t damaged in my back pocket (priorities) I just sat there and got my breath back, looked at the scrapes on my legs, shoulder and the kilo of gravel embedded in my left hand and started laughing (more of a chuckle than a maniacal cackle) but couldn’t stop smiling. I was OK. Phew…nothing seemed to be broken and I tentatively scooted the board back home on the smooth and flat tarmac surface.

When I got home my ‘ever-supportive’ 24 year old Primary teacher daughter laughed at me and said ‘damn, I wish I’d seen and filmed that’ and my wife sent me a text saying simply ‘idiot’ with a rolling-eyes emoji.

The party was lovely and we sat with the fire pit roaring until about 11:30 that night.

As my wounds have healed and the bruises go down I’ve been thinking about it, and what I could learn from this experience(in no particular order):

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  2. Do things that scare you and take you outside your comfort zone now and again.
  3. Stop just before you think you should (see also cakes, drinking and shopping in the sales).
  4. Do it differently next time.
  5. Stop caring what others think.
  6. Telling other people about your mistakes makes them laugh and helps them feel ok about theirs.
  7. Sometimes it’s good to act your shoe-size, not your age.
  8. Make things as much fun as you can.

I hope this academic year is as fun as it can be, enjoy something every day, share your joys and pain and get to bed earlier than you normally do!

(And if you’ve made any daft mistakes like the one above, please share them with me on Twitter @EnterpriseSBox)