There Is Definitely Something Wrong With Me
So my older son -- who is eight -- got a Ripstik caster board for Christmas; if you haven't seen one of these things, they look like an hourglass shaped skateboard, and you can use your feet to apply some torque on the connecting joint between the two halves of the hour-glass, and underneath, there is one wheel on a spinning caster in the front and one wheel on a spinning caster the back . . . it is a very strange and ingenious contraption (it won the coveted Outdoor Toy of the Year award in 2007) and at first glance it appears impossible to ride, but my son -- who is very determined (and he's also a good skimboarder and skateboarder) stuck with it, and actually got quite good on it -- though my other son couldn't figure out how to work it . . . and seeing Alex zip around on his board made me very jealous, but he was using the junior version of the Ripstik, which supports a maximum of 170 pounds . . . so I couldn't use his, but I really wanted to see if I could do it -- and when I told my students about it, they claimed that it was nearly impossible to ride one --and this made me want to try it even more, and so I bought the larger model -- which supports up to 220 pounds -- and took it to the park with the kids . . . and I will be honest and tell you that I was very nervous; I knew if I couldn't master the Ripstik, that this would be the beginning of the end for me (I can remember when my brother and I starting beating our dad at ping-pong: he stopped playing with us) but I am extremely proud to say -- though I know this makes me sound mentally ill -- that after a few tries, I was able to get it rolling -- without breaking my neck -- and now I've gotten pretty adept at it: I can make it go and I can turn in either direction, and, if you like to snowboard, then I highly recommend getting one of these things-- it's a very similar feeling (and now both my children can do it, and they have no problem on the larger size, so you can buy that size as a "present" for your kids, when it's really for you).