The prompt for this week is…
I got my first pair of rollerblades while I was in grad school somewhere in my mid-twenties. I got them on a whim because my friend wanted someone to learn with. We practiced that whole summer, on the esplanade along the Charles River, around Jamaica Pond, on the Minuteman Trail, on Sundays on Memorial Drive when they would close the street to cars…basically anywhere that was paved and car-free. I had my share of falls and wipe-outs, the worst being when I fell so hard on my tail bone going down a ramp that it hurt to cough and sneeze for a whole week.
But eventually I got to the point where I could cruise on my blades with confidence, learning how to step over cracks on the pavement and lean back ever so slightly with one knee bent to brake. I have fond memories of warm summer afternoons spent blading down the esplanade, from the BU bridge to the Museum of Science, hair flying in the wind, the river on one side and fellow bladers, bikers, joggers whizzing alongside me. It was the glorious feeling of flying.
I still have those rollerblades stashed in the bottom of my closet, although they’ve been gathering dust for the last seven to eight years. I think about taking them out now and then, but there’s no esplanade here. Maybe if I can find a place that’s smooth enough for me to blade while pushing a stroller alongside a four year old on a scooter, I’ll do it. It probably won’t feel like flying, but it’ll be better than nothing.