Saturday, 18 January 2014

Mad Fliq; Beyond The Rollerdrome

Some while ago, I watched a movie called "Whip It". This movie was about a small town girl who finds new friendship and self confidence through the sport of roller derby. It made roller skating look like a lot of fun. The crowds were huge, the sport fast, the girls were smart and brash and self confident to a fault... it seemed like the only thing needed to transform oneself into a fast-talking, gorgeous sportswoman was a set of wheels attached to one's shoes.

Of course, movies are often misleading. I was smart enough to realise today, when I went rollerskating (plus husband), that I probably wasn't going to wow anyone with my speed and grace. I simply thought it sounded like fun. And in a session specially for new learners, surely I wouldn't stand out too badly?

So I paid for my hire skates, slipped my feet in, tied my laces, and went to stand up. Ooops. Back I crashed onto my chair! My first challenge was to stand up. Then to shuffle towards the rink. Then to veeeeeeeery sloooooooowly step into the rink. And finally, to grab onto the rink side like death, panting, and wondering why the movie didn't spend more time emphasising just how hard it is to balance on eight wheels that want to roll out from under you.

Ok. I wasn't going to get very far. Time to think it through, step by step. Stand up straight.... check. Slowly roll feet forward, one at a time.... check. Madly try to lift other foot forwards, lose balance, have both feet roll away from me and end up on my bottom.... um, check!

But I am a stubborn person, and though my sense of balance seemed to have fled from me completely, I got right back up and tried again. Funnily enough, it seemed to be easier when I let go of the wall and relied on my own balance. Slowly, I got into a rhythm. I was going slowly, very, very slowly. I was still making wild sporadic grabs at the wall occasionally. I was still wobbling. But I didn't fall again.

All around me, small children were racing and whirling and gliding. Poor Graham hovered by me, balancing surely on his own skates, unable to leave me to my own devices. I got hot and bothered. But I didn't fall again. In a whole hour, I had fallen just once. I was determined to make it my last. And as our hour came to a close, I could stop scowling in concentration and start to smile. The rollerdrome had not beaten me.

I think I might go rollerskating again soon. I have to beat it. One day, I might be one of those graceful people who whirl and glide around the rink. Until then, look for the rainbow haired girl shuffling around the edge of the rink. I might be scowling, but don't be alarmed.

I'm just concentrating. And I may possibly have a sore bottom.

1 comment :

  1. I broke my arm rollerskating as a kid, but went on to do a lot of rollerblading (without too many injuries!) in my teenage years. I loved it :)