Thursday, July 15, 2010

Number 33: Or that thing I never did put on the list

33. Buy roller skates. Skate.

My sister received a pair of roller skates when she was young, and I was (as is still the custom) even younger.  Our basement at the time was unfinished, which left a cement floor on which was centered a big braided oval rag rug. It was around (and around) this rag rug that my sister skated. I followed, though skateless. (There's a photo of this. I'm in socks, pretending to skate. Pretending, I want to say, is not the same.)

Cut to junior high, when everyone I knew owned rollerblades and was highly skilled on them.  I spent the last day of school at French Park on a friends' skates, learning that I could skate given enough coaxing and safety equipment. I was in love. And yet, so scared.

I never did buy my own set, for the following reasons: 1) fear. I hate learning new things that involve bodily harm when you screw them up. 2) embarrassment. I hate being new at something. 3.) fear of embarrassment.  I hate looking dumb in public. And by dumb, I mean visibly afraid--read: freaking out. (see number 1, above).

Cut to my 32nd year.  I am now the proud owner of a pair of quad roller skates. And even though I've skated about 6 miles in the two days I've been on them thus far, I still don't know how to stop. But that's what the grass is for, right? (Or that park bench. Or the trash can. Etc.)

When I can stop shaking long enough, I look almost competent on them.  But that's not really the point. Competence.

I think the point is this: learning new things is hard. For everyone (for me even more). Doing things that utilize body coordination and balance are especially difficult for me (I blame the fact that I'm six feet tall and my center of gravity is somewhere around neck-level).  But this is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. And I'm finally old enough (read: I've finally stopped caring enough) to try it out.

My sister (original owner of quad skates, see above) said she was so proud of me. And that I should be proud too. And add it to my list so I could cross it off. So there. Done.


Christy said...

Oh I do miss my younger days of roller skating, did it all the time- weekends at the Skate Deck in the EVT! All those years and I never learned how to stop either- I prefered just slamming into the half wall/railing :) Same story for ice skating too...

Jene said...

Congratulations! What a fun way to spend a summer day.