Had an interesting observation experience today.
My son has always been very athletic. He has not participated much in team sports but instead has been into pursuits like trampolining, gymnastics, parcourt, skateboarding, and scootering.
As a small kid, he was always climbing to the very tops of trees. He left his friends in the dust in that regard.
When he had a trampoline, he was on that thing for hours. It was under a tree, and he would jump off of branches onto the trampoline, scaring the neighbors to death and anybody else watching him.
At gymnastics, his favorite concentration was the trampoline, and he was very good. He did flips and twists and somersaults and all kinds of things.
In the last few years he has been very much drawn to parcourt. He is always skating or scootering off of tables and steps and ledges and fences and railings. He also will regularly do backflips off of walls and light poles and palm trees and columns.
He does this stuff randomly, often in public places, and people are always watching. It is pretty impressive. Even though I’ve seen him do a million running backflips off of columns and light posts, it still is impressive to me. People who don’t see that often are usually blown away.
Anyway, today I was watching him at the skate park doing some running backflips off of a palm tree. A friend of his was watching also, and I could tell that he was trying to figure out how to replicate what my son was doing.
As I watched the friend talking through the moves and doing a dry run, I could see that it was going to be a challenge for him to pull off. My son was trying to coach him through the run and the flip, demonstrating how you have to throw your arms back and your head back at strategic points in order to do a successful flip.
The friend was never able to pull it off. Watching him made me realize my son’s skill level and his athletic ability as well as his spacial awareness. I mean, I’ve known for years that he has all that, but I don’t often see him next to another kid who is trying the same thing.
The contrast was pretty stark. My son does the same kinds of flips and twists and somersaults on his scooter. He usually has to execute these at a skate park with concrete ramps and bowls and half pipes and the like.
The air he gets is jaw-dropping. There are always people taking pictures and videos of him. I see him do this stuff all the time, and I do know it requires a lot of skill and practice, but my appreciation is probably slightly dimmed by the fact that I see him do it all the time.