Yes, its true. So the month of August has been an incredible month with my kids. I have been camping out under the stars almost every weekend for the last six or seven weeks with my boyfriend Mike, and his kids; Cyrus, Ethan and Marley.
This family of Stiefs is full of life and love, we've been swimming in big water, fishing, catching frogs and snakes, eating ice cream and playing in the skateboarding park.
I skated a little when I was in Jr High, but never really took the time to learn to ride all those ramps that my guy friends were just shredding in their back yards.
Ethan Wight learns to ollie.
We went out to the skate park this weekend, and it was a lesson in bliss and living your life, Mike, at 34, is still racing a bunch of 10-18 year olds up to the top of this ramp so they can all try to olli over a stack of four or five skateboards. And he's kicking their buts at it.
His kids, Cyrus and Ethan, are dropping into the big bowl and skating the sides, and my kids, Ethan and Bodhi are watching them with their jaws on the floor.
Its been amazing for all of us, Bodhi is learning to just play in the bowls, running up and down the walls, and Ethan is learning to skate, and more importantly, he's learning to get up when he falls and keep going.
Marley, Mike's 9 year old daughter, this lithe, beautiful gymnastic outdoors girl, decided to skate, and hopped right on, and learned to roll up the banked walls of the bowl. It was awesome to see, the only girl in the park aside from me, and she was just getting after it, testing it out, and realizing she could do it!
Ethan Stief goes big off a jump he built himself!
With Cyrus and Mike's gentle guidance, I started skating some of the small ramps, and learning to get forward, and learning to turn up on the wall, and it was SO awesome! What GREAT training for skiing, you have to be in tune with your center of mass, the board is short, so getting it out of position has immediate consequences.
My goal is to be able to drop into the big bowl and skate the walls.
After skating the mini ramps a bit, Cyrus asked me if I wanted to learn to drop in. YOU BET! This kid has got his act together, I'd follow him anywhere. We picked a spot and got to work, and on the first try, I had a "soft" fall onto the super hard concrete, but I felt like I understood what I'd done wrong. The second time, I slapped the wheels onto the wall and rode down, but when I got to the transition, I leaned back, worried I was gonna go endo, rather than just softening my front leg and letting the board level under me.
The board shot out from under me, and I went horizontal into the air, landed with a sickening crunch flat on the pavement, felt my rib cage flatten, and laid there a bit shocked.
I sat out for a while, wondering if I should try again, because I was pretty sure I could get it the third time, I was awful close, but kind of scared that I'd broken a rib or three, and that falling again might poke it into my lung or something.
So I opted out, and just skated the little ramps, and watched the boys play. Mike was working on dropping in to something super steep and riding across the bowl at a ridiculous speed, and then ollieing up on top of a concrete box (which he did successfully on the second day), and big Ethan was working on dropping in on the other side in a place he'd never gone before. Cyrus was working on the big bowl, and the other three were keeping at it on the low angle stuff.
All in all, I have to say, five kids, no, lets make that seven, if you include Mike and me, in the skate park all day for three days in a row makes for some great training for ski season, and some great family time.
Medical update: Ribs 5-8 partially avulsed off cartilage, rib 6 fully avulsed, rib 6 broken in 2 places, front and back. Coulda been worse! Mike accidentally reset the fully avulsed one, so we are good to go. A little pain killers on board, a few days of rest, and Dr. says I can hike even though it will hurt, I won't slow the healing process.