Sunday, May 22, 2005

look out!

i had no idea i was so out of shape.

after finishing some paperwork for school, i decided to reward myself by whipping out the rollerblades and skating around the building.

i don't know that i'm still considering it a reward.

when you see folks rollerblading on t.v. or in the movies, they move with a speed and agility unattainable by yours truly.

t.v./movie skaters=graceful
me on skates=everything but

it's not for lack of trying. i attempt the long, fluid strokes, but i have short legs, so i wind up looking more like that "rollerblade barbie" that dave barry so famously used to set a pair of underpants on fire. (minus the fire part- so far.) i'm pretty sure i'm advancing two inches with each push-off. instead of feeling graceful and athletic, i feel like bambi learning to walk on ice.

however, at least i haven't managed to crash headfirst into anything yet, so i guess i should abandon this and do a few more laps.

i've had my rollerblades for years- since high school. many years before that, i had roller skates- the very old school kind. money certainly didn't grow on trees at our house, so my parents bought us those adjustable metal skates that we'd buckle onto our shoes. we used to skate around our basement on them- making little metallic clicking noises on the tile floor as we went. several years later, the skates were pressed into service for an olympics of the mind (renamed "odyssey of the mind" after the folks behind the olympics got cranky about the name) competition. it was for a good cause- our performance of "mind reader and side-kick" (featuring yours truly in a rainbow brite costume- don't ask) did pretty well in competition, and i don't think we could have done it without our wheeled transportation.

the baltimore county department of parks and recreation held "skate night" every wednesday night at woodlawn elementary school, which had been abandoned just prior to our move to woodlawn. the school was just down the hill from our house, so it was pretty convenient for me to be dropped off before skating and picked up afterwards. for a buck or two, you could rent the standard brown skates and glide (or stomp or slide) around the school gym for a couple of hours while a parent played "we built this city" and other contemporary tunes and, of course, "the limbo rock". i was no limbo master, but occasionally i'd win the free pass for the following wednesday, and once i advanced to some sort of regional tournament. (i sincerely hope the purple t shirt from that event- in 1986, i believe- still lurks around one of my parents' houses somewhere.) still, it was hard not to marvel at some of the girls- they'd find a way to pass under the pole when it was no more than a foot off the ground- usually with some sort of split involved.

i stopped going to skate night for some reason. as i recall, i started getting bullied by some of the big kids. if i remember right, there were a couple of older boys who would horseplay and trip other skaters, but i don't know that any of the adults ever saw it. all i remember is that i wasn't allowed to go anymore.
those were the days.

fast forward to high school. heather became my best friend about halfway through our tenure at park hill. our houses were maybe a couple of miles apart, and sometimes we'd bike from one house to the other. when heather got her license, she'd drive over to visit, and sometimes she'd bring over her purple rollerblades. (well, they weren't actually the rollerblade brand, but i call all inline skates "rollerblades". anyway, you get the idea.) sometimes she's skate while i rode my bike. sometimes i'd skate while she'd ride a bike. sometimes (this was my favorite part), we'd each have one skate- though that never lasted long, because skating on one rollerblade is just odd.

as soon as i had enough money together, i got my own set of rollerblades. (thank goodness i can wear kids' sizes- that ability saved me a nice chunk of change.) heather would come over, and we'd rollerblade probably about halfway from my house to hers, and then back. usually we stayed in the middle of the road (i don't claim to always set the best example, but we were young and invincible.....and the sidewalks were a bit rough sometimes.), though we occasionally wound up on the sidewalk- or flying headfirst onto someone's lawn. when we went off to college (northwest missouri state for me, mu for her), our rollerblading habits (well, mine at least) tapered off a bit. occasionally one of us would visit the other, and if we had our skates with us, we'd haul them out and get a little exercise.

my rollerblades were one (two, technically) of the first things i packed into my car when i moved to south carolina after college. i get them out on occasion- but not nearly as often as i used to. the wheels could probably use at least a rotation, if not an outright replacement, but i haven't crashed into anything major yet because of them, so i think they can go a little bit longer.

speaking of crashing, that's exactly what i plan on doing as soon as i get home in about 45 minutes. goodnight.


Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to try roller blading.
It seems like a fun way to burn calories.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

da sister said...

remember the winter olympics of 88 when we saw speed skating on tv with bonnie blair? I remember I thought I could do that when we went roller skating and did pretty well until they started calling over the pa system, "no speed skating allowed." It ruined my fun. :( at least there was still limbo....until the mean girl clocked me and mom wouldn't let me go anymore. :( I'll have to remember to tell my therapist about that.....if I ever get a therapist.

Larry said...

Ah, the good old days. Myself, being a hockey player, have always been able to skate relatively well. I learned on rollerskates switched to blades then to ice.

You always seem to have perfect timing with your posts, as I am to take out the blades tomorrow for the first time in over 2 1/2 years to play some roller hockey with a friend and his coworkers. That is, if the ankle I managed to sprain earlier today on the ice(playing a game called broomball, there are no skates involved) is not too stiff to do anything on tomorrow.

Good luck. And from experience, you probably look more graceful than you feel.

Notarbartolo said...

thanks for visiting my blog.
i'm glad that you like that cloud's picture.
roller blading is not popular as it is in the state. the main problem is we dont have enough place for playing it. anywy i think roller blading is fun and it's a good way to keep fit! ;)

da sister said...

hey, sorry i didn't get back to you last night. As soon as I mentioned that my computer was a piece of crap and that I was going to replace it soon, it froze up on me. Evil piece of crap. Go for the hampster.

Kal said...

Can't rollerblade. Can't ice skate. One nice thing about having kids is that you can use milk crates for support at the rink and explain it away because you're helping out the kid.

Don't know what I'm going to do when they learn to skate and I'm still hugging the boards, though.

Larry said...

Once they learn how to skate you don't have to be out(or is that oot) there. Just tell them you are getting "too old for this" and watch from the sidelines while sippin hot cocoa.

Anonymous said...

Great post as usual, love. I miss you, and just wanted to stop by. I once wiped out half of a sidewalk cafe on rollerblades. Thank God for knee pads...

I'll pop back quietly from time to time. Keep on makin'em laugh :-)

freewriter said...

for an alternate to MU [University of Missouri] here's mu [zen].