As I carefully laced and tied the skates with two wheels in front and two in back, I glanced up to see the skaters on the roller rink. Some were skating backwards; others were waltzing with partners. Since this was my first time skating with my high school friends, it was also my first time discovering that they were very experienced skaters.
This realization made my face turn red, my stomach churn and my hands sweat. I wasn’t ready to show my friends that I had a lot to learn. Skating on the slippery floor of the roller rink with these new skates was going to be a very different experience from skating with my first shiny metal skates that came with a key. The key opened a latch on the bottom that could change the length of the skates so they would fit right over my tennis shoes. I practiced on the sidewalk in front of our house by rolling between two chairs. Eventually I skated around the whole block lots of times. The vibration of the metal wheels traveling over bumpy cement made my feet and legs tingle. I hoped those days would help me maneuver the slippery surface of the roller rink.
Thankfully, my friends stuck with me as I slowly slid one skate in front of the other with one hand sliding against the wall for support. As they helped me along, my nerves started to calm. Eventually I got used to the surface after a few bumps on the knees and rear.
Many Saturday nights were spent roller skating. Before I knew it, my friends were showing me the tricks of how to skate backwards, turn around, and waltz. We even managed to dance the Bump!
Learning that my friends were willing to show me the way was the best part!
This post was inspired by Write on Edge’s RemembeRed prompt: In On Writing Stephen King wrote, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
Write a memoir post – first-person and true – inspired by that statement. Word limit is 300.
Skates with keys…..that took me back! LOL
I loved the roller rink as a kid. For us it was the Thriller video on a projection screen with the lights down low and the disco ball sparkling…
And the friends who are patient when you are learning? The very best kind.
I love that you took the risk and learned something new (and to me, scary). But it’s that last line that steals my heart- it’s scary letting people in!
The bump on skates! You surpassed my meager skate skills!
Oh, how I loved roller skating. Couples skate? Lights low? Disco ball churning? Holding hands with my sixth grade beau? Doesn’t get any better than that.
I had both kinds of skates in my younger days too. I remember the metal ones causing vibrations I seemed to feel in my teeth!
I saved for months for a pair of the indoor kind of skates. I LOVED skating at the roller rink, especially when cute boy asked me to snowball!
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