A week of random thoughts upon my return

By Eric Moore — As some of you may have known, I took the opportunity last week to go on vacation.
I secluded myself to an area with little-to-no television and purposely kept myself out of the loop when it came to all things sports... in a way.
I still went out to the local creeks and rivers and enjoyed my time off, but being the sports junkie that I am, the thoughts of competitive events will forever permeate my brain.
Even while I was spending time “relaxing” at a creek with my closest friends and their kids, I managed to turn skipping stones into a contest.
It was an unseasonably reasonable temperature for mid-July last week and the drop in temperature got me thinking about the upcoming football season and how all of my favorite teams will do this season.
I will be breaking down the conferences (both high school and the SEC) in columns later this week.
Once I remembered we were still in July, I thought of the sports still being played, namely baseball.
The MLB pennant races are interesting, to say the least, with Baltimore, Detroit and Milwaukee leading their respective divisions.
It looks like there will be a few races that will come down to the wire — mostly all of the National League divisions.
But Major League Baseball has a hard time holding my attention for long, and as I watched my friends’ 9-year-old son play around on his scooter I got to thinking about something I had dismissed as a passing trend decades ago — extreme sports.
I know those little push-scooters don’t really qualify, but you should see some of the stunts being performed these days.
That got me thinking back to my youth. There was a time I was an avid skateboarder/bike rider and I have my share of scars to prove it.
Growing up in a town like Poyen, there were not too many places to practice that craft, so we cobbled together whatever we could to make our activities “extreme.”
If there was a railing, we were trying to slide our skateboards across it. Truth be told, I never did master that particular feat. Where I did excel was ramping my bicycle.
Again, we had no real place to set up for stunts, so we created what we could from what was available. For us, it was an old concrete foundation from a building long gone with cinder blocks and planks of wood strewn about.
Looking back, I have to admit that it was not the brightest idea I ever had.
In fact, my “extreme” sports days came to an end the day I tried to do a super jump (two cinder blocks stacked on top of each other length-wise). As I hit the ramp, I immediately regretted my decision.
I got some nice air, but promptly landed on my back followed swiftly by my bike (darn you, gravity).
As I thought back to those days while watching my friends’ kid scoot around attempting tricks I got to thinking about how important it is to have a venue for such activities.
I still remember when Hot Springs installed its skate part and it was an immediate hit.
I know there is talk about adding such a venue here in Malvern and all I can say is it is long overdue.
“Extreme” sports aren’t going away any time soon and kids need a safe environment to practice their craft.
(Eric Moore is the sports editor for the Malvern Daily Record. Contact him at 501-337-7523 or email him at mdrsports@sbcglobal.net)

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