Last summer, I thought it would be cute if I bought myself rollerblades. I wanted to be one of those girls gliding along the boardwalk in a sports bra, holding a boyfriend’s hand, enjoying the jealous looks my rock hard abs elicited. It had only been twelve years since I last rollerbladed (or had a six-pack for that matter). No problem. Back in the day, I rocked the gear: helmet, elbow pads, kneepads, and my favorite, wrist guards. Such a good look for me.
I asked the guy I had been talking to if he wanted to bike alongside me when I broke out the blades for the first time. (And what turned out to be the only time.) Five minutes in to our romantic afternoon together, he had to park his bike in order to hold me up and pull me down the path. Turns out the phrase, “it’s just like riding a bike,” doesn’t apply to rollerblading. I couldn’t gain any speed and as soon as I did, I couldn’t stop myself. Balance was questionable and in my sweats and oversized shirt, I definitely would not have fit in with the sexy rollerblading crew that was my original inspiration.
After a bit, I got cocky and was sure I could proceed on my own. The boy walked on ahead, not watching as I took on a decline so tiny, it wouldn’t even be logical to a city planner to add a drain at the bottom. I gained an insignificant amount of speed, shouted, “I’m going down,” and threw myself onto the ground. I spun off the path, slammed into a wire fence, and came to rest in a nice warm pile of dirt. So upset I scratched my new wrist guards, I refused to get up. Obviously watching the whole thing, a man walking his dog, without even stopping, said to me, “If it makes you feel better, my dog really enjoyed that.” The boy stuck out his hand to help me up but I smacked it away. I ignored his pleas to get off the ground and the fact that he was getting embarrassed. While I remained on my back, still laughing hysterically, a man in a wheelchair rolled up. “You know, when you fall down, you have to pick yourself right back up.”