Tracy and I were standing in the driveway with our skateboards. I was trying not to shiver from the cold as my sister talked about how she was an expert at skateboarding, and that I’d come to the right person.
That’s right: I’d decided to learn how to skateboard. I’d asked Tracy to be my teacher.
“What if I fall?” I asked suddenly, interrupting Tracy. I’d been stalling this lesson for as long as I could because of that. I was so afraid of falling off the skateboarding and seriously injuring myself.
Tracy tossed something at me, and my hands snapped out and snatched it in midair. She’d thrown two protective elbow pads at me.
I started to strap them on. “Don’t you need elbow pads, Tracy?”
She shook her head and casually did an ollie. “Nah. Elbow pads are for newbs.”
Once the elbow pads were on securely, Tracy began the first part of our lesson.
“Alright, Nevaeh. First, you need to know how to pick it up in a cool way.” She placed her toes on the tip of the skateboard and pressed down. The skateboard popped up and she grabbed the other end, tucking the board under her arm. “Give it a try.”
I shrugged to myself. It didn’t seem too hard. But when I tried the skill, I stomped down on the board too hard. It went zooming off to the side.
I groaned and headed after it, thinking, Next time, stomp on the board lightly.
I tried again with slightly better results. I almost got it that time, but the board slipped out of my fingers. I got it the next time, though, and pumped my fist in victory.
“Good job,” Tracy congratulated, though I got the feeling she didn’t really mean it. If I wanted to impress her, I’d have to do a really good job at something.
I adjusted an elbow pad and waited for Tracy to introduce the next skill.
“Alright, let’s move on to actually riding the skateboard!” my instructor suggested.
She put one foot on her black skateboard while pushing off the ground with the other. Quickly, she pulled both feet onto the board and adjusted their positions. Making it look super easy, she glided past me with perfect balance.
She skidded to a stop a little ways down the driveway. “Now you try!”
I took a deep breath to steady my nerves. I would be OK. After all, I had elbow pads to protect be. And it didn’t look too hard. Just put one foot on the board, push off with the other . . .
How hard could it really be?
Tracy yelled instructions at me as I prepared to ride the skateboard for the first time.
Just as I was using my foot to get some momentum, the skateboard slipped out from under me. My arms flailing in the air, I stumbled forward. A shriek escaped my lips as I slammed into the asphalt.
Groaning, I pulled myself into a sitting position. I brushed the curly blonde hair out of my face and inspected myself for wounds. There was a bruise forming on my knee, but other than that, I was unhurt.
Tracy offered me her hand, a small smile on her face. “Give it another try?”
I took her hand and nodded.
I tried and tried, falling off the board multiple times. Finally, just as I was about to quit, the skateboarding started rolling — and I didn’t fall off! I rumbled down the driveway, whooping, until I lost my balance and had to hop off.
Giddily twirling in a circle, I exclaimed, “Tracy, I did it!’
She bounded over and slapped me a highfive. “Good job, T Swift,” she said with a smile, calling me by my nickname.
I beamed back at her.
Maybe skateboarding was OK.