Sunday, June 24, 2012

Channeling My Inner Tootie

As I age, I find I occasionally need to prove to myself that I can still execute certain physical activities I performed regularly in my youth.  About five years ago, I attempted a front walkover in my parents' living room and nearly broke my spine. Last year, in my 40th summer, I found it critical to prove to myself and others that I could still slalom water ski (I could, but it was a short run).

I had the opportunity to try something old again today, when my son attended a roller skating/laser tag birthday party.  I was itching to roller skate.  Like most kids of my generation, roller skating was what we did with our time--first in our unfinished basements, then at the tween (before "tween" was a thing) mecca in my town, Skate World.  I had roller skated twice since those years--once during my freshman year of college (1989) and once during my third year of law school (1996).  Eighteen years later, on my twelfth wedding anniversary, with my eight-year-old son, I skated again.  I can still do it, and I had tremendous fun.

[Note:  I still roller skate old school.  No blades for me.  Two blades bad;  eight wheels good.]

Reflections upon my skating experience:

1.  Muscle memory is an amazing thing.

2.  Fortunately for me, age eight is still below the cut-off at which your mom's being the only adult in the building roller skating goes from fun to mortifying.

3.  I am much better at skating than stopping.

4.  Would someone just play some Toni Basil already?  Although all the adolescent girls were singing along, I didn't recognize a single song played.  I take that back.  I did recognize that song that was in the viral video about the people who danced into the wedding, which was then spoofed on The Office. My obviously cooler husband tells me this is performed by Chris Brown.

5.  Concepts I considered while skating that I had never before considered while skating:  viral video, YouTube, smartphone, email, Facebook, son, sprained wrist, lower back pain, sore tomorrow.

6.  Falling, which I only did twice in two hours, is much more awkward and painful when you are 41 than when you were 11.

7.  No one asked me to couples skate (which is probably good because I had about 35 years on any other male skater).  Actually, there was no couples skate, but I could have done it because I can still skate backwards.  Yep, I've still got it.

8.  We rarely get skinned knees as adults.  I never thought about this until I couldn't stop thinking about how much that little scrape on my right knee smarts.

All in all, it was a very satisfying experience, notwithstanding the skinned knee.  I managed to surprise and impress my kid, accomplished something I didn't know if I could still do, and had a great deal of fun in the process.  I think we may be revisiting the United Skates of America soon.  Who's with me?

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