I’ve been rollerblading for a pretty long time. I started when I was about 15 or so, and I did it pretty much daily until I was in my early 20’s. Once I got married and moved to my current town, I pretty much stopped altogether. This is mostly because my new area is very hilly and wasn’t really good for skating. I did it every so often if we went to the park or something, but nowhere near as much as I used to.
Now that I’ve started going to skate night with the Lish, I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable on my blades again, but it’s very different. I see other people there on blades, skating backwards at full speed, spinning around and jumping into 180’s or 360’s without missing a step, and able to do awesome stuff. Problem is, I can’t do ANY of that shit. See, when I skated, it was always on the street. I wasn’t into doing tricks or anything like that, I just went. As such, I never learned to skate backwards or turn around, mostly because there was never a need for it. Sure, I can jump without a problem, and I can skate on one foot for a bit, but that’s pretty much it. I never really improved because I never had a need. Now, I’m feeling the desire to learn, but I’m hitting that “old dog, new trick” problem. I’m used to being very good at this, like it was one of the few things that I thought I did really well. Now, I’m realizing that I’m actually very limited, and far behind other skaters (especially hockey players). It’s a shitty feeling, I won’t lie. I tend to find that in many things I do. I think I’m pretty good at something until I view my abilities in context. Then I suffer from a case of the “poor me”‘s.
I tried a bit of it the other night, and it was pretty sad. For the first time in a very long time, I was actually shaky and afraid of falling. Granted, my fear was mostly because I never wear any type of safety gear. Even when I’m skating street, I don’t wear gear, mostly because I know how to fall properly so I won’t really get too hurt. Doesn’t help all the time, but I’ve only really had 2 nasty wipeouts in all my time skating. Now I feel like I need to wear 8 layers of thick clothing, and full hockey pads to try doing this shit.
Sure, I could just not bother and go along like it’s business as usual, but I WANT to be at that level. I just don’t seem to have enough time and space to practice, since if I tried practicing it at open skate I’d most likely cause a pile up. Oh well, maybe one day I’ll figure it, but most likely I’ll just bitch about it until I stop skating for another decade….
So earlier this week, the Lish and I had a little date night. I had to help my father with something after work, so we both met up at the place, just as if we were dating. The venue? Rollerskating!
I’ll start this out by admitting that I’m pretty good on skates…or at least I have been in the past. I used to skate a ton when I was younger, especially in college when my car was out of commission and I did ~14 miles per day on blades between school and work. So yeah, I’ve done this before. The Lish has shown interest in trying out for a roller derby league, so it’s pretty fresh in mind. The place has open skate for adults at night, so we went down. I was quick to jump on it since it’s been about 2 years since I’ve been on blades, and I miss the hell out of it. I figured we’d go down, I’d look and feel all cool cuz I’m pretty good at it, and we’d have a nice time. What I didn’t expect, however, was that apparently the adult skate nights are attended by the fucking cast of Roll Bounce!
I’m not even joking here. Sure, there were 4 or 5 people there who were pretty new to skating, but literally everyone else was spinning, dancing, and sliding around like I was in Goldmember’s Studio 69! I was actually a tiny bit embarassed because I never really learned to do 180’s or skate backwards. Still, it was a great time, and quite a sight. The other skaters were so amazing and made it look so easy and natural, and the music pumping was exactly what a roller disco should be. Lots of great older R&B, and some newer stuff, but all tunes that you could really groove to. People were dancing with each other, doing crazy spin moves, and skating the entire rink backwards at high speeds while weaving in and out of people. The best part of it all? Everyone was smiling! It was really a happy time for everyone involved, like a small community that I never knew existed. I was definitely in the minority with my pale skin, long hair, and tattoos, and I didn’t get ANY weird looks from people or bad vibes. Everyone was cool, and it was just as much fun to watch as it was to skate….well, almost. We’ll be going again, and I can’t wait. I’d forgotten how much I love it, and didn’t realize I missed it as much as I did. Seriously good times!