One day, I get this random text from a new friend of mine asking me if I wanted to go roller-skating.
Roller-skating. As in I haven’t done that since 1996 roller-skating. I had no idea they even still had rinks anymore. I remember loving this activity as a child and was heartbroken when they converted our little town 2002 roller rink into a flea market, which now today is a Target.
My initial reaction was to laugh maniacally as if I would ever be able to skate again. We’re talking 24 years of rust.
But then of course, as always in synchronicity, I began watching my fave astrologer’s weekly analysis of the incoming energies and there just so happened to be a mention of things like: this planet is traveling in your house of creativity and inner child; opportunities are everywhere so say yes to all invitations; step outside of your comfort zone.
I mean seriously, he’s worse than Alexa and needs to stop watching me.
So, taking all these very clear signs, I responded with a yes. A petrified yes, like I was going to end up in the hospital petrified, but I did remember that every time I forced myself out of my box, I always had a great time or benefited from it.
I told my kids I was doing it, and the first thing my son said was, “If you are more than 15 minutes late picking me up, I’ll know you’re either in the hospital or that I need to plan your funeral.” Sweet little bugger, isn’t he?
So, fast forward to today, the big day. I didn’t sleep much last night, not in anticipation, but just because it happened to be one of those incessant mind wandering nights. I didn’t get the sleep I needed and naturally wanted to blow it off like a big baby.
But I didn’t. I put on my big girl pants and drove myself to the rink, where I proceeded to get a one on one lesson from a very passionate roller-worker. I was advised to begin on the carpet until I could learn balance. Everything was about balance. Shift your weight right then left to balance. Bend your knees for balance. Don’t skate with your arches or you won’t have balance.
Got it. Balance.
Or rather, I didn’t get it, because it was way too much coordination for me to handle. How in the hell was it possible for it to come so naturally when I was a 10-year-old and then be so completely inept many moons later?
For starters, it would have helped if I had the right shoe size instead of one size too big, which made that damn balance quite difficult. I went around grabbing onto the walls and railings trying to find it, but instead found a doorknob and almost opened a secret passageway. The pain in my feet and ankles had me almost calling it quits, but bless my sweet friend and her supportive urging (or not taking no for an answer) and getting me a smaller size show.
What a HUGE difference that made. I almost instantly felt the balance restored and was able to move much better. Still, I clung to the walls like a fabric sheet to a sweater—nothing was taking me away from my security. A nice man even tried to give me alternative suggestions for how to walk like a duck until I got my groove. Quack, quack, along I tried to walk—still not happening!
Finally, I was introduced to the Skate Mate. What a fabulously liberating tool he was (yes “he,” because he was my roller-skating boyfriend for the day). Although I looked and felt like my grandfather did with his rolling walker, it did give me the confidence to finally move with speed and ease as I was Livin’ La Vida Loca with Ricky Martin on the skate floor and finally keeping up with mi amiga.
I also came to realize what a freaking workout it was! I found muscles I didn’t remember existed and the cardio? Who tricked me into cardio? Though I will say, after all was said and done, I did feel a refreshed energy from the activity. Who knew my endorphins would approve?
So, what did I learn from this retro experience today?
That roller-skating is NOT like riding a bike: you have to retrain yourself all over again.
That the concept of balance currently alludes me.
That roller-skating is more intense in 3-go-arounds than a Zumba class.
That it’s okay to forgo your pride for a crutch or granny rollers if it means being able to learn and participate.
That I have awesome friends, and that there are kind people in this world who actually care enough to help instead of judge.
That my astrologer is always right. Dammit.
And that I really do love stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing stuff like this, even if I look like an idiot. Because today reconnected me with my inner child, and boy did we have a lot of fun <3