Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A quick update on the roller blading adventures . . .

I headed out to Baker Park again on Sunday to hone my skills. This little couple in their 70's passed me walking (yes I said they walked passed me as I was attempting to roller blade) as the lady encouraged me saying 'I am so proud of you love. You keep it up. You are doing great love'.

I can only imagine the determination that must have been on my face at that moment as my legs shakily skated me to the path following Jimmy who was far ahead.

I found a great little spot that was fairly deserted considering the first annual Bownesian bbq was being held in the roundabout area complete with a band, hot dogs and hamburgers and children's entertainment. As I skated up and down, gaining confidence and speed with each pass, I received many smiles of encouragement any time I would look somehwere other than the 3 feet expanse in front of me as I navigated around cracks and sticks. I also heard the odd encouraging phrase: 'keep it up', 'you're getting the hang of it' and 'looking good'.

Although by the end of my outing, I was starting to wonder if these were actually smiles of pity and phrases of sympathy...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grass Stains

After 4 years of creating a summer 'To Do' list that includes 'Learn how to roller blade', I finally took the first step and invested in some blades. Cause everyone knows once you have all the gear, you are that much more likely to actually try them out.

So one beautiful Sunday afternoon, Jimmy and I headed out on the Roller blading mission. First stop: Sport Check to purchase my gear. Jimmy warned me that I was going to need to sport the helmet and the wrist guards but somehow I did not translate that into the fact that a short summer skirt should not be the attire I chose. Oops!!

Thankfully the sales guy was extremely helpful (I am sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was struggling to stand up on these slicked wheels on the shiny floor in my cute little skirt) and after a few awkward moments, okay maybe a lot of awkward moments - I was set: white with black accents, rhinestones on either side of the foot with these little blinking lights (green in the front, red in the back) to let everyone know that I meant business.

After a quick stop home to change my clothes (I usually learn from my mistakes quite quickly - key word being usually) we were off to Baker park. By the time we arrived, the slight sprinkle of rain had stopped but the clouds were still hovering. Much debating later, we decided to give it a go.

I do want to note that this 'debating' included various warnings from Jimmy regarding looking out for rocks in the parking lot, being wary of cracks in the paths, avoiding sticks littered about, a concern that the rain had made it extremely slippery and if I need to fall - choose the grass!

So, with the adrenalin pumping, a rush of that excitement one gets when they are finally trying something new that they have wanted to do for a while and the cutest roller blading outfit ever - a shiny new black helmet with muted purple flowers dancing about, elbow pads, wrist guards (and for anyone new to wrist guards they are worn on the inside of your wrist - not the outside - a minor detail I am sure but really how is one to know), knee pads and my fancy new blades, we were off. Jimmy in the lead.

I navigated the parking lot like a pro, curled around to head toward the paths scooting around the stones scattered about picking up speed as I headed down a massive hill (one of those 'hidden' hills where it doesn't look like a hill until you try to navigate it on something that rolls - then you realize it is a 98% grade). I wound around the sticks. I glided over the cracks. My first 5 seconds on the blades I looked like I had blading for years!!! Then I realized Jimmy had made a 90 degree turn. I could feel my legs starting to quiver and my knees going weak. Turns were not something I had practiced yet. By now the only thing running through my mind was 'if you need to fall - choose the grass'!

With eyes focused on the end goal, I steered slightly towards the right and headed straight for the first expanse of grass in sight. With Jimmy so far ahead, I was sure I could get back up and on the path before he was aware that anything was wrong! So as my wheels came to a near dead stop on the grass, I could feel my body buckling but with all the gear I was wearing I knew I would be okay. I quickly picked myself up, and waddled back to the path just as Jimmy looked around to see where i was. I don't think he noticed a thing. Whew!

I quickly lifted my hand to give him a quick wave. Giggling with my little secret. Jimmy asked if all was good. Of course it was so I gave a nod and then visibly winced as I could feel this dull throbbing in my right thumb that I didn't have before. As I glided over to Jimmy he was asking if I fell. Time suddenly slowed down to a snail's pace as the word no formed on my lips and I looked down towards the ground noticing the grass all down the side of my shorts, the grass stains on my roller blades and the huge tufts of grass sticking out of my knee pads and the boots of the blades.

Good thing I fessed up to as I am not sure how I would have explained the fact that my thumb since is still swollen to twice it's normal size two weeks later . . .