I went roller skating today! I haven’t been on skates for something like 25 years, but for a while skating was what I lived for. During those pre-teen years – 5th, 6th, and 7th grades –I was at the rink every chance I got. I’d forgotten why until today.
Roller skating rinks are fairly ubiquitous. The one I was at today is much like the one from my childhood, but I’ve changed. I’ve gotten old. At first my thoughts were about how I wished I brought my Superfeet insoles so I would be more comfortable in the skates. I was shaky, not remembering how to move on wheels. I was being overly cautious. I’m overweight and out of shape. I don’t live in my body like I ought to – like I used to.
It started to come back to me after a couple of laps. I felt the breeze in my hair and remembered how free I always felt on skates. It might have been the only place in my life where I felt free and self-confident. At the rink, I was a hot shot. Not one of the speed skaters, but I was a good skater. I had friends there. I felt special. I loved the rituals like the Hokey Pokey and Partners Skate, and Shoot the Duck. It felt dangerous, but I was in control. I could take risks and damn the consequences.
I adored the rink itself. It was like a glamourous woman well past her prime. Sure, things were threadbare in places, but with the colored lights hitting the disco ball and that cute boy smiling, it was the most promising thing in town. The skating rink was my only option for meeting boys besides school. I made up my perfect boy and a story about meeting him at the rink. I wished with all my might that it would come true. And while I waited, I skated, and it felt like flying.
Finally, I see that in my pre-teen world, skating held the same place in my life that sex does now. Sex is where I feel at home – free and special. I have some talent and some skill, but it’s more a feeling of potential. Sure, things look a bit worn. It doesn’t matter when sex lets me escape for a while. Everyone needs to be a rock star some of the time. I’m willing to take some risks because I’ve weighed the consequences.
I’m not going back to my hot shot days (although roller derby has some appeal), but I am going to do more to get back into shape. I was a gymnast once. I know what it feels like to have my body do exactly what I want it to. For now, I’m soaking my sore muscles in the tub. (Yes, I’m typing while wet and naked). Strangely enough, the muscles that are sore are largely the same ones I use for really aerobic sex. Maybe I’ve alway been a roller girl at heart!