My daughter Subhadra is rollerskating to raise money for cancer. She is doing it in memory of my dad. I don't know much about it but I think it's the E-Ville Roller Derby. If anyone would like to donate to the cause, please email or call me and I can give you her contact information. I think she must be a good roller skater to be in a league.
My rollerskating story
I have to tell you about my first (and might I add - my last...) roller skating experience. My best friend Catherine was a great roller skater. She claimed that there were not many things she was good at but roller skating was one of the few but very good things she could do. She used to whiz around the rink as if she was floating on air. She could go backwards and and do loops and could stop on a dime. I used to watch in awe, wishing that I could do that.
One day I laced up some skates and went on the floor. Well, within seconds, I was down on the ground and try as I might, I could not get my legs out from under me long enough to stand up. Each time I tried, one leg would end up in one direction, and the other in the other direction. I finally crawled on my hands and knees over to the side wall and pulled myself up. I gingerly slid over to an opening on the rink floor and stepped on carpet. Grateful that I did not break any bones, I took off the skates feeling like a complete idiot - mostly because there was a little girl beside me who had just effortlessly glided off the rink and was also taking off her skates.
After a good belly laugh, Catherine offered to teach me to roller skate. Humiliated, I thought about saying no but she said since I was so proficient at riding a bike, I would undoubtedly be able to master rollerskating in no time.
The next week I got dressed with what I thought were appropriate skating clothes and off we went to the rink. She made sure that I had the right size skates and she quickly laced up hers and went for a warm-up around the rink. I spent some more time doing mine up and stood up - proud that I was able to stand without tipping over. I even got brave and did a little roll beside the table - all of this done on a carpeted floor. I was beginning to feel confident that I would be able to master skating.
Catherine came back for me and we went into the rink. First step and BAM! right on the floor. I was doing what I had done before - legs splayed in every direction. I crept over to the side wall and carpet and lifted myself up again. Catherine offered to hold my hands and support me while I learned to balance. I actually moved about 6 inches on the floor and managed not to fall. Good. Now the next step was to try for a straight line from one end of the rink to the other. I did that - staying close to the wall so that I could grab on to it if I need to - and I needed to.
I was grinning when I got the other end but of course I hadn't learned how to stop so I had to rely on Catherine. I turned and with her help, managed to go the short end of the rink without incident. Again she helped me to stop and turn. Then it was the long end again which I managed without incident again and repeated the same at the short end. By this time I had made it completely around the rink, albeit with assistance and with stops and turns rather than going around the curves like the other skaters.
Catherine then thought that to be safe, I should learn to stop properly. So after one more long and short roll around the rink I positioned myself for my skate on the long side of the rink. I was moving confidently but not too fast and then I did as she said and tried to touch the rubber brakes down on the floor lightly so that I would not tip over. That takes a great degree of skill when you don't know how - skill that I did not have so I tipped my foot and the next thing I knew, I tumbled and was sliding across the floor on my knees, stopping just a hare's breath from crashing head first into the wall. I felt a burning in my knees but did not look as I came off the ice trying to look dignified. It's not possible to look dignified when you are recovering from a fall. Try to think of slipping on ice in a busy parking lot in winter and trying to get up and not look embarrassed. Not possible.
I got back to my chair and took off my skates. I was about to lift up my pant leg to see if I had skinned my knee, then I saw the two big holes in the knees of my pants. The burning sensation on my knee was the heat of the fabric melting on to my skin. You see, I had worn beautiful silk pants to go roller skating - not the most appropriate clothes but they looked pretty. The friction from falling and gliding on the rubberized surface of the rink floor had burned holes in the pants. Needless to say, that I was my last roller skating experience. Catherine had a good laugh and where ever you are, looking down on me, you must still be grinning.
Catherine passed away more than 20 years ago and the void she left in my heart is still there but I have such beautiful memories of her, that she never really leaves me. This is one of those embarrassing but lovely memories.
Anyway, if you would like to donate to a worthy cause - Subhadra's cancer fund raiser - please email or call me for her contact information. This is timely, because tomorrow, I am attending a service at the Grace Hospital in memory of all the residents who passed away in the last few months.