Thursday, July 30, 2009
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'
Andy and I have reentered the wonderful world of rollerblading. I can’t really speak for Andy, but I know that the last time I was on a pair of rollerblades was the summer before I entered seventh grade. That was 13 years ago. Needless to say, I was a little rusty.
I prayed as I left the comfort of the car seat and hoisted myself onto my newly acquired skates. I held my arms out in a feeble attempt to solidify my balance. My ankles wobbled to and fro until they gave up the fight and decided to settle in their equilibrium. Success. I looked and Andy (who had mastered his skates without so much as wobbling) with a look of triumph on my face. He told me I was adorable.
One foot at a time, I tried movement on the skates. Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, scared to venture more than four inches per foot. I slowly made my way the eight feet from the car to the sidewalk. I continued this way with my ankles continually fighting the foreign concept of balancing on such a small surface. I argued with my feet and told them that they would just have to get used to it.
I uneventfully made it to the sidewalk and even successfully navigated a small curve. Granted, I was only traveling about .2 mph, but I am not super keen on falling down. As I rounded my first turn, I quickly began gaining speed. I was not moving my feet and yet, the wind was blowing harder and harder around my head. “ANDY!” I shouted in a state of panic. “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP!!!” I remembered that the brake was on the back of the skate, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to use it. Andy told me to just skate into the grass, which I did, and I crashed. That’s to be expected, right? It had been a while since I had last skated.
I brushed myself off, grumbled about the fresh grass stains on my jeans and elbows, and tried again. I slowly reentered the path where Andy was waiting for me. Then, it happened again. I wasn’t moving a muscle and yet I was picking up speed. This time ended just like last time. I rolled into the grass and fell down. I really had to remember how to stop. At this point, Andy just laughed, told me how adorable I was and said that that slight hill was a tough one. What he meant was that it was tough for me. He didn’t appear to struggle with the hill at all. I will henceforth reference the hill as ‘Satan’.
I got up, dusted off the new grass clippings, and vowed that I would do better. We went around a curve and were greeted by the mercy of flat ground. I decided this would be the ideal place to relearn how to stop. Over and over again I experimented with the brake while shifting my weight different ways to figure out the mystery. When I finally thought that I had it, we circled the park to tackle ‘Satan’ again.
With more confidence, I slowly approached ‘Satan’. I felt myself gain speed. With a certain smugness, I jammed my heel down, only for it to nick the ground fly into the air, followed by my left leg and ultimately dumping me on my back. Awesome. Satan won. For awhile, I was content to just lie there to catch my breath and make sure that I did not have a concussion.
After a while, Andy realized that I was no longer behind him.
“Are you ok?” asked Andy obviously trying not to laugh.
“Yeah. I’m just going to lie here for a minute.”
After a few minutes, Andy helped me up. We lapped the park a few more times (during one of these laps, a little boy pointed at Andy’s skates and screamed, “MOM! I want shoes like that!! I want shoes with wheels!!”) and decided to call it a night.
I look forward to getting better. I think that will just come with practice.