BY: BAILEY BOWE
Crater Lake, Oregon
Regardless of the lines on the map, your desired destination, wanders wondered, the “plan” (whatever that thing is), your natural inclinations to get “there” (wherever that might be), never fail to realize this: Spontaneous shenanigans are trip essentials.
Those shenanigans tend to involve a certain facing of self, the confrontation of your innermost fears, and a refusal to acknowledge probable dangers. If your mind is wired anything like mine, you often ask yourself, “Well, what is fun without the rush of risk?” Exactly. If I am not screaming “Holy Heck-a-bits” and “Frickety Frack” from the top of a rock face I reluctantly climbed, then who am I kidding? Okay. It may be the adrenaline that has gotten to my dome, but I know some of you will understand.
You know that certain feeling that arises when the road you are cruising down transforms itself into a concrete wave, lending its smooth streets to your sweet embrace? Well, that is when you grab the nearest board, something, anything with wheels, and make a run for it. You look to your friends for their approval. With eager eyes and proud smiles, they wait for your next move. You question yourself, then double back to the comfort of your friends’ faces. With starry vehemence, they shout, “SEND IT!” Bam. You go. Keep going. Speed gathers, courage abounds, trepidation dissipates. In the midst of movement, you find serenity in a state of euphoria. Like heroin, the elation consumes your being. This is that moment of defiance when limitations are no longer palpable perceptions of terror; you become entirely invincible. Unbounded, you are the master of your fate, the captain of your darn ship (skateboard).
You want to stop. So you do what it is within your will to stop. You leap off your board with such grace only to find yourself greeted by the cold hard concrete. Face first, battered body, you give way to the harshness of a mundane reality. Land ahoy, back to the ground, you become cognitively aware of how badass you are. The remnants of your courage keep you trembling. The adrenaline rushes through your veins reaching the wounded knees. Your overly prepared friends bolt to your rescue with seven different first-aid kits, but you are numb to the physical pain. Your road rash sanctifies your body, honouring itself for such valiance. You hop in the car (literally because of injuries), wearing your torn patagonia sweatshirt like a souvenir. As you drive away, you look in the rearview, and smile a cheeky little grin. The pain rouses and that endless wave behind you, the magical place where you got pitted, pummeled, and all sorts of shredded, kisses you goodbye. Before you fall asleep that night, you reminisce on that very moment when your lionhearted self did not wimp out, you sent it.