Saturday, December 10, 2011

Slip and Slide

Those of us over 40 probably remember the Wham-O Slip and Slide. It was a plastic sheet that you hooked up to your garden hose. There were little water jets inside it that wet the plastic surface. Once it got thoroughly wet, you could slide down the length of it. I never had one as a kid, but I remember watching the commercials and wanting one. I used to think that I was a deprived child because I never had a Slip and Slide. Here is a vintage Slip and Slide commercial:

The Slip and Slide is probably banned now because it's probably considered a safety hazard. I'm sure that back in the day someone got hurt using it and that was the end. Or there could be a new version that's not nearly as fun as the original with a thickly padded bottom and sides to prevent any injuries. The new version probably has a built-in water heater to prevent the little darlings from getting chilled from the cold hose water.

On my run yesterday I felt like I was on a Slip and Slide. We had some rain and snow recently coupled with below freezing nights and above freezing days. All of the rain and melted snow has turned to ice on the multi-use trail that I like running on. The thicker ice is actually easier to run on than the thin black ice (at least it's easier to see), but it's all slippery nonetheless. There isn't enough ice to warrant using my spikes. I'm actually a bit leery about using the spikes this year after my experience with them last year. Every time I used them last year, I got calf cramps that were bad enough to force me to stop running. For now I shorten my stride, slow my pace, and try not to slide too much. So far I've done a good job staying on my feet.

I may not have had a Wham-O Slip and Slide when I was a kid. But I'm losing that sense of childhood deprivation because I'm doing plenty of slipping and sliding on the icy trails.

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