Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Skating Frees You

roller skating Pictures, Images and Photos
Roller skating was always a big part of my childhood. There was nothing better than endlessly gliding around on some smooth asphalt. I had the best skates in the world; long and white with yellow stripes. I could do a few fancy tricks on them, but I mostly preferred just to ride.

After school, we'd race off the bus and go to our houses to throw on our skates. We'd skate to South Palm, the only road that had been recently paved and skate away those long, hot Georgia afternoons. We usually had a good sized crowd on our outdoor skating rink.

The first time I went to an actual rink, I was ten. I went with this preteen/teen youth trip. It was also the first time I realized that skating and boys could go hand in hand. I watched as older kids skated around the rink holding hands, listening to hair bands under disco lights. I was envious. I was just some skinny kid with huge bangs, a V neck sweater, and tight rolled acid washed jeans staring wistfully at something I was still too young to enjoy. While I skated backwards to myself, I vowed that one day, I would be skating with my own boy.

A few years later and it happened. Music and fashion changed, we were now listening to R&B and wearing silk shirts, but there were still disco lights and boys available to me! As excited as I was about skating next to a dude, I soon realized that I couldn't really enjoy skating anymore. I felt trapped in an endless loop having to come up with conversation and worry about my lip gloss. I started missing my solo skating and the freedom that comes with having the wind on your face and road flying behind you.

Last weekend, I got to revisit my skating past. My sister came to visit and we decided to go to a rink. It was family night and it meant that it was mostly preteen boys whizzing by us. I did show my senior citizen status once when I told one boy "Watch it, kid!", but I didn't let that deter me from a good time. The music was nearly two decades changed and that was a hard blow to take. I wanted to recreate the skating magic in every way, including the music, but I still soldiered on.

I was very, very rusty. I did not try any of my fancy tricks. I just worked on staying upright. After an hour, I felt like I was settling into my old routine. There was wind on my face and rink flying behind me. I might have spread my arms out like an eagle and said "I'm free!" at one point. It was a blissful time, just me and my thoughts. I don't have many moments when I can just think on my own, so I treasured every minute.

Maybe some moms scrapbook or play Bingo, but I now plan to be a roller skating mom. I just hope I can convince the DJ to play some Spin Doctors just for me.

No comments: