A day of my life

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There are no real hills in Davis, aside for a few overpasses, and so it's easy to forget the dangers of heights and slopes. One sunny afternoon, in pursuit of some thrills, I managed to find a "hill" to ride down on my longboard. The first few seconds were pure exhilaration. Left and right I swerved as I imagined myself slaloming down a ski slope.

All of a sudden, trees were flying past me and I was traveling as fast as the car next to me. The longboard began to shake violently beneath my feet, and I realized that a fall was inevitable. My final decision - or rather, my intuitive impulse - was to do a volleyball dive onto the concrete pavement before I gathered any more speed. I landed without a scratch on my knees or elbows, but my palms and scraped chest were red with blood.

That was not a day to be forgotten. But weeks later, when my wounds finally healed, I stepped on the same "hill" once again - fully armed this time with pads and gloves. Crazy? No. I refused to be subdued. I had skied down Black Diamonds in the winter and ran up the same mountain ridge with my cross-country team in the summer. I refused to succumb to this puny little "hill," not even a hundredth the size of the Sierra...

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