Friday, August 13, 2004

Blader Envy

I have always admired Rollerbladers. They seem to effortlessly glide around the lake as I huff and puff through my jog or brisk walk. I wanted to be them. I wanted to effortlessly glide around the lake. So one day as I was perusing eBay (my semi-new sick obsession) I decided to become one of them. I hightailed it to the Rollerblade auctions, placed my bid and had a nice, new, used pair of Rollerblades post haste. It wasn’t until yesterday, though, that I gathered the courage to use the things. I felt so nervous as I put them on, hoping they would fit right, hoping that all the time I spent on roller skates in middle school would translate into a current skill in Rollerblading, hoping that I wouldn’t fall and break my wrist because I wasn’t willing to spring for the proper safety gear until I knew for sure that I enjoy the whole Rollerblading experience.

My first challenge was to make it from my brother’s apartment building to Green Lake – two blocks and two busy streets lay between them. It being rush hour, my first humiliation was crossing the street. It seemed like I couldn’t remember how to launch off into a smooth stride. Instead I appeared to be walking across the street as fifty cars waited for me and of course I tripped right as I made it to the curb. I was able to drag myself out of the street and shakily regain my footing. I slowly pushed myself forward with one blade and then the next. I seemed to be getting the hang of it. I was so proud. I held my head up high and tried to channel all of the hot chic Rollerbladers I had ever seen in a movie. There must have been something wrong with the connection.

I arrived at Green Lake and plodded across the grass field that lay between the street and the paved path around the lake. I was getting excited. This was going to be fun. I was going to get some exercise, go around the lake a couple of times, and hey maybe even meet a cute blader. I quickly lost my enthusiasm. Once I got to the path, I realized that Rollerblading business isn’t as effortless as it appears. My second challenge was a mini-hill that I had never noticed while walking (of course I usually go clockwise around the lake against the Rollerbladers so it was downhill), but all of the sudden I felt like I had reached Mount Everest. I grunted and pushed and somehow managed to make it to the top. Winded and extremely exhausted, I looked back longingly at the grass field from which I had come, but I kept on. Soon my chest started to burn and my face started to pound. I didn’t understand it – I wasn’t even going fast. Every single other Rollerblader passed me, joggers passed me, and, saddest of all, speed walkers passed me. Try as I might, I couldn’t get myself into a smooth rhythm. About a quarter of a mile around I could take it no longer, I had to sit on a bench. I was so confused. Rollerblading looked so easy – besides I wasn’t that out of shape, this should have been a piece of cake. I watched more rollerbladers pass by and I squelched the desire to ask them to tell me what I was doing wrong – why, when my legs were going at the same speed as theirs was I incapable of achieving the same speed. I didn’t want to carry on. I was frustrated, depressed and extremely disappointed in myself – but rollerbladers can’t go back – they can only go forward on the path. I wanted to cry, but I stood up and onto the path and prepared to pass again all of the slow walkers. I didn’t want them to see me again – I looked ridiculous, but I had no choice, I couldn’t turn back. I didn’t even have my cell phone so calling my brother to rescue me was out of the question.

When I had gone 2 miles and after 5 more breaks, I could take it no longer. I sat down on the grass, removed the offenders and walked the final mile in my bare feet. I HATED those Rollerblades. I considered leaving them by a tree, hoping that by chance some girl with a size 10 foot would pick them up and take to the activity with far more gusto than had I, but I kept a hold on them. The worst part of the whole experience is that as I trudged through the cool grass all of my frustration with my rollerblades and with S combined to make me very emotional. I spent the entire walk choking back tears and just being utterly pathetic.

When I arrived at Big’s house, I could no longer hold it in – after greeting Big and Coco as they sat smoking in the garage, I excused myself to get some water and sobbed in the kitchen. I couldn’t understand what I was feeling at the time. I played it off as PMS to Big and Coco when they asked about it, but it wasn’t that. I am beginning to think that the divorce, single momhood, and this whole Mr. Slick thing are all starting to take a serious toll on me.
- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +