A little frivolous, this post.Â I spent much of my youth at a roller rink.Â Â It was the first (and only) thing I could physically do better than my sister.Â Seriously.Â I will never forget that night- sorry Lita.Â (See, I even spell your name the way I want to!)
I had a huge identity around by ability to race around backwards, forwards and fly through the air.Â Often, the flying ended with a hemoglobin or two and I didn’t care.Â Roller skating created my confidence after being a very shy special-ed student who couldn’t get words out of my mouth.Â I basically was a rock star on skates.Â My best friends happened at that rink, Chris $, Tracy, Debbie… the list goes on.Â Â I have such fond memories.
Last week a bar in San Francisco cleared the place and set up a Roller Disco.Â Â Costumes required.Â Unbelievable fun.Â Seriously.Â I am surprised by how poorly I skate now, how much my fear of broken bones might mess with the boogie oogie ability.Â Â There we were in our sparkle disco pants, Michelle in her pink Studio 54 jumpsuit and our hair in side head pony tails.Â Â Going round and round.Â I had forgotten entirely about striped tube socks.Â Every single person in costume remembering some trend I had forgot.
A friend, Jack Daly, asked me once if my best days were ahead of me or behind me.Â Behind me I could physically do things that astounded me.Â I could live on Top Ramen and Diet Coke (I’d add ketchup to the Top Ramen when I felt like having spaghetti) and live on 2 hours of sleep. I remember a moment when Holly pointed out to me that I never ate… I had really never noticed.
After an All Night Skate at Fantasia when I was 13, I could roller skate home at 7am (5 miles) with NO problem… put on my swimsuit and go play on the diving board all day.Â Â (I am sad that my son has never been to a swimming pool with a diving board – a sad view on bumper padding kids- diving boards are awesome!Â Bring back the diving boards!)
I digress.Â Ahead of me I hear news of brittle bones, being tired, sagging eyelids…well, and sagging other things.Â I’m going for a mammogram today… I had an eye appointment this week to adjust my glasses to (Gulp) bifocals. Â Stuff is sliding.
Last week with my arms in the air and my boogie ON … I lost control and nearly fell on the floor…. out of the corner of my eye I watched as 80% of the people on that floor did the same thing.Â “I’ve got it.. look at me.. I can dance and skate… WHOA!”Â A sudden loss of balance, arms flung in the air to avoid the crash,Â in the midst of a pelvic maneuver to a downbeat.Â Â Am I out of practice or do I believe all the hype out what happens as we age.Â Â Both.
The roller floor truly was the happiest place on earth.Â Although there were rollers who clearly had never been on skates… those of us who used to live on them and forgot how… and also these freakishly talented humans who can do things on skates I can’t even do on my feet… it worked.Â Â (yes, I do use ellipses a little too much, I know.Â I like them.)Â There was this song.. this sound.. beneath all the arms flailing in the air to stay vertical, the sound of ball bearings, the loudest bass I think I’ve ever heard, the ever present Fender Jazz Bass keeping us all in tune…. I heard… over and over…’sorry’.Â Â We bumped, nearly tripped each other, crashed… and everyone would mutter with such reliefÂ ‘sorry’.Â Â Sorry meant, “whoa, I almost went down and since I’m older my bones will absolutely break because that is what I have been told and you just kept me from that by me bumping into you … thank you and I’m so glad you didn’t crash and I’m sorry.”Â Â When I was younger that little bump would have likely ended up with a Riedell between the wheels and some sort of fisticuffs.
Do I even have a point?Â No.Â I’m just in bliss thinking of this month.. of going again.Â Â I’ve started taking the steps two at a time of late as I increase my level of exercise.Â Last night I actually CRAVED steamed broccoli.Â Â Â This morning I skated in my house.Â Yes, you heard that right.Â I put on my roller blades and tried to do a past maneuver in the kitchen.Â Sitting on a swelling bruise on my butt in the middle of a knocked over cat food dish, I laughed harder than the night I saw the )@($*@)( Matt Damon video.Â Life is good.Â (PS: totally unsuccessful in my skating maneuver… it’s okay, I have about 29,501 9at least more mornings to practice it until I die.Â My nursing home will have a rink rather than a pool… unless of course there is a diving board-then I will take both.)
Ahead of me Jack.Â Absolutely ahead of me.