Last night I went to my gym around 5:30 when I realized I’d forgotten to pack my running shoes. I must have looked pretty strange, walking into the locker room only to sift through my gym bag and walk right back out. I was really annoyed until I remembered I’d read that the skating rink I mentioned yesterday was having a public open skate from 6:30 until 8:30. I drove over to see what fun, action-packed event they had going on until then. Surely they had something going on until 6:30, like a kid’s skate or a birthday party.
The rink is less than a mile from my gym so I drove over and walked in. It was brightly lit, but eerily quiet. The crazy thing is, it smelled exactly like the roller rink I used to go to all the time in Marietta, when I was in high school. It must be some kind of cleaning product they use. Either that, or the smell of used roller skates. I didn’t see anyone, so I kept walking toward the rink. A guy came up to me and told me they were closed until the all-skate started. It was bizarre. There were all kinds of arcade games and a rock-climbing wall but no one there. This is starting to sound like the plot of a horror movie, and I’ll remember that when I make my upcoming “Paranormal Activity” wannabe movie.
I went home and waited for Brandon to get back from work. He agreed to go back at 6:30 with me to check it out, with the promise that there might be pinball involved. He made a judgment call and opted out of trying roller skates for the first time in years just days after having gallbladder removal surgery. Wuss. He was so nice to come with me only to sit at a cafeteria style table next to the rink, playing on his Blackberry as I occasionally swerved ungracefully by. It turned out they were replacing game tickets and refilling token machines the whole time we were there, so there was really not much for him to do.
I started out with roller blades, since that is what I always used in high school and college. I remembered experiencing ankle pain from them before, but that wouldn’t happen until after I’d been skating for a long time. Last night it happened almost immediately. Somewhat discouraged, I asked to trade them in for skates. I hadn’t worn skates since I was 10, at the oldest. It was rough at first, but after several minutes of winding around the rink I kind of found my stride. Just like riding a bike. Or… roller skating. I think there’s a real advantage to having four wheels evenly spaced below your feet, as opposed to blades, where you stand on top a row of wheels and have to balance yourself on them. Must be something to do with weight distribution. In any case, the skates didn’t hurt my ankles, or anything, really. My lower back hurt a little bit at the time, and I think it was from the stress of trying to keep myself from falling. It’s fine today.
My mom’s brother is an inline skater who actually competes in races every month. I think when I saw “Whip It,” part of me was sure there was a professional skater inside me somewhere, and that I had the genes to prove it. But the truth is, no one can be naturally amazing at any sport if they’re not trying. You don’t just pick up a pair of skates after several years and start whizzing around like an Olympian. You have to decide which things in life are worth working toward becoming better at, like film making or basketball or skating or painting. The average person probably doesn’t have the time or resources to become a master of all these things. And that’s okay, boys and girls.
We were only there an hour or so, but I am really glad we went. It was a different kind of experience, and one we shared only with the handful of people who happened to be working there at the time. Having a nearly vacant rink was strange, but also a thing to be thankful for, since there wasn’t anyone for me to run into. The people working skated together once in a while, showing off their abilities of skating backwards, doing jumps. Maybe someday I, too, will be able to jump forward while wearing skates. Not today, though. Probably not tomorrow, either.
It was a nice change from the gym, but unless I invest in a pair of skates, it’s going to cost me $9 to “work out” there. Too bad, because skating sure beats the elliptical machine.
Speaking of which, this morning I found out I have lost five of my ten summer pounds since Oct. 12. Good riddance. I also dropped below a certain weight, but that’s a number I don’t care to share at the moment. If I reach my goal weight, you bet I’ll be bragging about what I *used* to weigh in at. But not until it’s in the past tense.