When I was a 'tweener' (though when I was one, we never called it that!), I used to love to roller skate. I owned a pair of clamp on skates and used to go (very, very carefully) down the big hill on which we lived. I couldn't screw up the courage [to] make it all the way to the bottom - the speed was just too intense for me - but I did go 6-8 houses at a time before pulling off into the grass to slow down.
But what I really loved to do was to go to the rink in town, put on those shoe skates and make big lazy circles around the wooden floor. I even took some lessons there - and I learned how to skate backwards.
Oh, the joy of that movement. I was not a natural athlete. (Well, that is the understatement of the century!!!) I did not do team sports. I was always - and I do mean always - chosen last for any spontaneous games on the playground. But skating? I could do skating! At least if there were wheels on the bottom of the shoe, and not blades.
I really enjoyed those outings to the rink. Cheesy music and all. It was freeing for me to be able to use my body in a semi-coordinated way, to feel it 'work.' That did not happen for me very often - it's hard to be awkward and gangly and unable to do what others seem to do without effort. Not exactly sure why that was true for me, but it was. So roller-skating was dreamy - as close as I ever came to dancing - and I truly loved it.
And going backwards - that was the best part of all. I did it easily, joyfully, repeatedly. And I haven't thought about that in YEARS. Literally. So thank you, Lisa-Jo, for this flash-from-the-past. It is sweet to remember those moments of freedom.
I am so happy to report that my 5-year-old granddaughter has NOT ONE of my physical hang-ups about her body and how well it works. I don't have any photos of her (or me) roller-skating, but I do have these of the day last March when she rode her bicycle without training wheels for the first time.
I love the shadow she cast as she started off down the driveway,
fears carefully tucked away.
And how earnestly she worked to stay upright as she pedaled around their cul-de-sac.
And how very proud she was of her great accomplishment! Go, Gracie!!