Friday, May 7, 2010

A Pair of Rollerskates

I grew up two miles from an air force base. I spent quite a bit of time there as a child since we had access to their large gym and bowling alley. I spent one of my birthdays at both locations, and one year even had a tour of the "Big Building", a five story windowless building that has one of the most powerful radars in the United States. (Needless to say, I was also surrounded by nuclear weapons that were housed in silos all over the prairie.)

In the gym, I had a lot of memories and one of my fondest was rollerskating. It was there that I put on my first pair. A family left theirs behind and my family attempted to put on the skates to try them out. I was still quite small, so my feet could fit into one of the pairs. It was still a little big, but it didn't stop me from zooming around my parents and older brother. I fell in love with the skates, and wanted to keep them, but we left them behind to never see them again.

When I grew older, somehow I ended up with a white pair of rollerskates with blue wheels and laces. My best friend also managed to have a pair so we spent a lot of time rollerskating until our feet outgrew them. We would go to the gym to race around in circles. I was great at turning corners, but my friend wasn't. Every time she would get to the wall, she would run into it and her colliding with the metal wall heaters clanged throughout the room in echoes. Then she would go again, going as fast as she could. It just made us laugh and laugh.

We also rollerskating on the cement in my basement, and in her large garage with music blaring. I could go and go and go, and never want to stop. I always felt free and happy when I skated.

I did have a pair of rollerblades once my rollerskates were too small for my size 9 feet. The pair of rollerblades made my feet really warm, and I couldn't turn as well as in them. They also hurt my feet a lot and felt strange afterwards. I never had brakes on my skates and learned to time my slowing down, and that was mostly the only benefit from the blades.

My parents tried to give me back my pair of rollerblades again (supposed to be sold at a garage sale years ago!) and I refused them after remembering my poor feet. My mom tried to give me a pair of Care Bear rollerskates, but they were never mine and wouldn't fit my adult feet. I then had this sudden urge to skate again. My husband doesn't want to skates, but now that we have a bike path right across the street, I think it would be fun to have a pair again. Also, it doesn't help that the Derby Girls are a big thing in Fargo and I have a few friends that joined so I hear a lot about rollerskates.

So....

See the white skates? I bought them! I did my first test run in our dining room and then down in the garage. I fell once in the garage (a rock was on the floor) and then practiced a bit more before heading out the awesome bike path across the street. At this moment, I have to carry them down to the path and put them on there. To get there from my house, I have to go over the dike in my skates. Nope, that isn't happening any time soon with my braking skills!


Joey and I went on the path when the weather was still nice (we have had rain for like a week and snow threatening us today.... snow!!!). I tried the hill, which is a no no, and then went about two miles along the river. It is a lot easier going down a "straight" path with one little hill. I cannot wait to get back out there, but my braking skills are not so good right now. Going down the one "hill", I started to go too fast. I knew if I tried the front brake, I would fall on my face. So, I simply stepped into the grass, and my heart rate instantly went down. I walked a few steps down, and then went right back on the path. Even after that and the near death experience going down the Fargo dike "hill", I am ready to get back out there!

I love these skates and how I can change the wheel and lace colors in the future. I have lots of ideas! And see the laces? Mine are the color of the wheels. I love them!

Natasha

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