Roller Skating – Day 50
There are a few roller sports that I could try, but it seemed like a wise idea to learn how to skate before I embark on anything ambitious. Every week in Plymouth, you can learn how to skate and as it was Halloween, they were putting on a spooktacular roller disco. I dragged along my little girl, Izzy, who was up for giving it a go. However, she declared that she was “Halloweened out” and refused to put on a costume. After drawn-out negotiations, she agreed to bring some vampire teeth. Having no costume myself and being heavily reliant on Izzy providing the scare factor, I asked Paul to hurriedly draw a cobweb on my cheek, as a token gesture.
When we got to the YMCA in Plymouth, it was full of super speedy, skating spooks. Their dressing up efforts made ours look even more pathetic. As we waited, we could only watch in awe as various skaters, ranging for little minis to teenagers and adults, circumnavigated the hall. This added to our apprehension, as we couldn’t spot any fellow “wall clingers” or “shufflers.”
Thankfully, as we were booting up, we spotted a few rookies. The lights went off and the music belted out, accompanied by a fluorescent light show. As soon as I stood up, I started to feel very shaky. Some of the helpers guided Izzy around the first few circuits, as I was abandoned to my own devices. My deficiencies on wheels were amplified by the various ghouls whizzing in and around me.
After one shuffle around, I sat down to regroup. I started to focus on everybody else’s technique. I stood up again and once I steadied myself, I adopted my own skating style; essentially that of a demented bull. I thought it best to work on one leg at a time and once I had perfected one leg, I would move on to the other. So, this involved keeping my left foot on the floor and my right foot, making a pawing of the ground, like a bull before a charge. I got into a sequence, which I managed to get into time to the music. Paw, paw, roll… (Travel about 6 feet) - paw, paw, roll and repeat.
This strategy was getting me around the room but it was bloody well hurting my left foot, as it stayed rigid to the floor. Izzy and I regrouped again. She herself was adopting her own technique but I could tell she was getting a little frustrated. She is a determined little thing though and after we had watched a game of bulldog (which we sat out) she was off again in no time.
Next circuit and I focused on getting my left foot to do something of use. I initiated the shuffle, progressed to the pawing technique and then attempted to lift my left foot. My foot was not complying though and I physically found that I couldn’t lift the damn thing. It stayed rooted to the floor. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to lift it.
I wondered how long it would take to get to the level some of these guys were at. It seemed so effortless and graceful. I would love to be able to skate like that. I gave it my best but I was knackered by my efforts, as was Izzy. Neither of us fell over, which was an achievement but we would need to put in a lot of practise to get confident on wheels. Izzy asked for skates from Santa but I may need to reconsider street hockey and roller derby, based on this performance. Maybe I should have dressed as a full-on witch and rowed myself around with a broomstick, kind of like a Venetian gondolier...
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