Availing Ailments

photo cred: JCB

Despite the surge of invincibility accompanying the taming of some terrifying transition with a new trick or solid run, our skateboards like to remind us that we are unfortunately mortal. The passionate outlet that drives us, skateboarding, and our ability to do it is as fleeting and delicate as the human body.

Just yesterday at the Protec Pool Party qualifiers, Josh Stafford was rushed to the ER after a collision in the pool. He will be sadly sidelined along with a broken-ankled Bucky and an injured Grosso during tomorrow’s event. Others are barely recovering from new ailments, Daniel Cuervo, Lincoln Ueda and Lester Kasai have all managed to heal up enough to ride. The fact that even Tony Hawk broke his pelvis a few months ago on a 540, a trick he’s been doing for close to two decades, shows just how easily we can be humbled by our precious planks of joy.

Bob Burnquist. X Games 2011. Credit JCB

I’ve come to find that despite whatever hobble-filled situation my skateboard has put me in, somehow the pang of not skateboarding has overwhelmed any physical pain or discomfort.

Having gone through my fair share of skate-related mishaps. I’ve developed a healing regiment to help me get back to skating in order to avoid nasty skate withdrawal symptoms.

Here’s a quick how-to on how to heal sprains and strains, which can give you some serious, long-term issues if you just ignore them.

1) The most obvious R.I.C.E method: Rest (stay off of your tattered limb until pain subsides!) Ice (Most important in the first 48 hours- 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) Compression (Ace bandage, but the point of this is to drain the inflammation so don’t just trap the fluid in there, start wrapping tightly below the joint and then wrap more loosely as you go higher up) Elevation (keep your limb above your heart, allowing gravity to help decrease swelling.)

2) Various topical creams/ applications
1. Arnica Montana– this homeopathic remedy comes in both pill and cream form and helps decrease swelling and pain, and promotes healing. You can find this at most health food stores.
2. DMSO – a byproduct of tree sap that works as a really efficient and powerful anti inflammatory. There is a lot of uncertainty behind this product, but based on all of the research I’ve done as well as being a first-hand witness to its effects, I would highly recommend it. It’s important to get one that is at least 99 % pure DSMO and diluted to about 70% DMSO, 30% distilled water. You have to be careful when you use it because it is also capable of transporting things through your skin so you want to make sure you wash the area with warm water first and then make sure that nothing else comes in contact with that area until you wash it off about 30 min- 1 hour later. You can couple this with arnica gel to allow the arnica to get to the damaged tissue more quickly. You can get this online or maybe at health food stores.
3. Voltaren Gel– This is essentially ibuprofen in gel form. Anti-inflammatory and a pain killer. You might need a prescription for this.
4. Traumeel<a . This works really well, PLG has also recommended it to me. I got mine in Poland but I'm sure you can get ahold of it somehow…
5. It is important to take a Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements (pill form) even when you aren't injured to promote joint health/strength.

Also, in my desperation I've researched diets that are optimum to healing. Essentially it comes down to leafy greens and lean protein. Some specifics include: pineapple is the best natural source of Glucosamine, red meat increases the inflammatory response so it is best to avoid it especially within 48 hours of injury, artificial sweeteners like aspartame block your calcium intake, diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine should be avoided because they leech your body of valuable nutrients that you will need during times of healing.

The most important and difficult step is to stay off of your weakened limb until you can skate pain-free. It is much easier to do further damage to an already-wounded joint…

Needless to say, I get pretty desperate/borderline dramatic when it comes to striving for a quick recovery…

Scrumptious San Diego

Vertlandia ahoy!

The mystical Matadors of Bull Taco‘s tasty taqueria wonderland have generously equipped me with a water wrangling weapon to add to my board quiver!

Not sure how to utilize this beast, but I'm learning!

Surfing in the morning and skating vert in the afternoon has made for a wonderful weekend.

Here’s an edit of some vertical vampirism!

After one more final exam on tuesday night, this will be all day every day!

Many Mighty Mahalos

My not-so secret desire to perpetuate and prolong my Hawaiian visit to immediate permanent residency made itself clear when I reached into my pocket and realized that I lost my boarding pass at the Honolulu airport.
My initial perma-stressed brain responded with panic. As I began to realize the awesomeness of getting “stuck” in Hawaii, the United worker drone analyzed my blank expression and turned-out pockets. ” Are you.. (squinting at wrinkled boarding pass lying on her desk) Amelia Brodka?” she laced her question with a well-deserved patronizing tone as I dropped my head and muttered a yes.
How shameful.
How old am I again? 12?

Northshore's Bansai pool right across the street from Bansai Pipeline
Not only does Hunter push me off surfboards, but she also shoots chunks of coping at me as I attempt to kick back with some yummy macadamia nuts

that extension was Maka-dang-dang
We managed to capture a wild Kallie
we attempted to extract the secret of the deathbox lines from her...but our efforts were futile. She alone dominates death, frontside at that.

A big Mahalo to Matt and the 808 crew for getting us into Cholos backyard wonders TWICE

Mighty Feeble

Then we meandered to yet another backyard playground…

Compete with 3ft mini with a spine, 8ft mini, and a little hut with a micro mini inside…

oooh ocean view

And that was only day 2…

So my subconscious attempt to stay in Hawaii failed…I slithered off of the redeye, right into 12 hours of work and class with my brain all maka-dang-dang from awkward plane “sleep”

Thanks for the photography Dr. Bleecker!

Hawaiian Hospitality (Day 1)

Emergence from my Honu shell!

As the semester began to draw to a close, the perpetual papers,projects and presentations drove my hyper-caffeinated brain to the brink of explosion.

A Hawaiian escape seemed like the best way to keep my sanity in tact…

On my first day, I learned that Hawaiians are not only genetically engineered to wrangle waves with water boards, but they have been bred to be the most hospitable creatures on the planet…

the home of the fantastic 808 crew and our temporary shelter
taming mother nature on earth day!
mother nature struck back...
Hunter pushed me off the board... how cruel
Cholos was sooooo fun

hawaiian shaved ice!

To cap our first North Shore adventure we meandered through a children’s graveyard in order to get to a spooky, skater-built pool…


the spirits struck back...

Best earth day ever!!!

Marketing Media Morsels

Does the use of fruit (in this case, lemons) bolster sales of skateboard goods?

I get it! The product here is a lemon-scented sunblock to prevent farmer's tan while skateboarding all day...right?
Perhaps it would be more conducive to the industry to market their goods at work? Wearing shoes such as Vox is certainly helpful for executing front rocks. (photo cred: Dr. Bleecker, photoshop cred: moi)

Stacy Smith, a professor at my local brain feeding institution, the University of Southern California, has used this as an ingredient in one of her dishes :

“A steady diet of consuming skewed or stereotypical depictions of women as sexy or domesticated may facilitate the development and maintenance of attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations that are limiting.”

This neuron-tickling morsel was served in Communication and Mass Media, where I fed as a freshman.

As a junior, my diet consists of Gender in Media Industries and Products with chef Alison Trope, for which I’m currently compiling my final recipe for the semester with the help of this spice, suggested by Larry Gross:

“Close to the heart of our cultural and political system is the pattern of roles associated with sexual identity: our conceptions of masculinity and femininity of the ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ attributes and responsibilities of men and women. Ans as with other pillars of our moral order, these definitions of what is normal and natural support the existing social structure. the maintenance of the ‘normal’ gender-role system requires that children learn- and adults be discouraged from toppling- a set of expectations that channel their beliefs about what is possible and proper for men and for women.”

“Our experiences are likely to be limited to what the media choose to show and tell us”

Gnaw on that and savor its taste the next time your paws feel the gloss of Thrasher or Transworld Skateboarding.

Lamentable limbs

The countdown had come to an end, the contraption forcing me to perpetually give the world a thumbs-up was scheduled to hatch a rejuvenated limb. Giddy, I hopped on my bicycle and headed towards the doctor’s office. As I steered single-handedly for what I thought was the last time, I daydreamed of doing backside airs again, tying my shoes with utmost ease, coming closer to crossing juggling pineapples off of my bucket list. I had been robbed of the ultimate primate perk for much too long. Never take opposable thumbs for granted.

Alas, I had arrived:

Despite the renewed contraption, I pranced down to San Diego with Dr. photographer/professor/evil mastermind Julian Bleecker to break in the new cast with some fellow vertically driven minions.

The aerodynamic qualities of that chunk of fiberglass are slightly stale

lipslide over the deathbox

Tricks requiring my left hand will just have to continue to wait…