Ever since my bike got stolen – ARGH! – I have been relying on my wheeled piece of bamboo to get me places faster than just walking. I’m not shunning walking, walking is fantastic. Anyone who has seen Wall*E knows that, considering the course our increasingly lazy society is headed, we all could benefit from a few more steps on the pedometer. But when it’s hoofing it over 2 miles back and forth every day, plus 2 train rides, the commute just gets long.

On my longboard, I get there a little faster.

I bet you have a preferred hand with which you hold a pencil to write. Probably you use the same one to brush your teeth. I bet too, you have a favored foot with which you kick a soccer ball or take the first step up a flight of stairs. By the same token, I have a foot that I always put in front when I’m riding on my longboard. It’s my right foot.

Ironically, most people who ride a board (longboard, skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard) position their right foot behind, and lead with their left. This is the normal riding position. When the right is forward, its called a “goofy” stance. Thus, I’m a “goofy” rider. What’s that you’re giggling at? There was no pun intended.

With all the skating from A to B that I’ve been doing lately, my left ankle (the one I use to ‘kick’ along) is getting tired out. The scales have tipped back in favor of walking. That, or switching feet on my longboard.

Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your other hand? I kinda miss my mouth a bit, getting ‘Cool Mint’ foam all over my face. Then I try a little harder, determined to give my teeth a good scrub. I can only seem to tame my hand to go back and forth, back and forth, in one spot on my teeth, then if I try for a new angle, ahh! ‘foaming action’ all over my face again.

What is the point of this silliness, do you ask? Besides turning a simple 3-minute bathroom affair into an epic battle between oneself and the lesser extremity, new brain cells are actually being created – right out of thin air. Thin air and lots of frustration, but nevertheless. Exercising our muscles in different ways forces new synapses to form inside our brains, bolstering the health of our grey matter. (Read more here.) Heck yeah.

So, in an effort to exercise my other foot and my brain, I try – sometimes, and not during rush hour – to skate kicking with my other foot. It’s definitely a challenge, but it feels good to relieve my left foot of its kicking duties and know that I am, in a sense, “smartening” myself up too.