So I mentioned yesterday that I was temporarily adopted by a gaggle of young boys and girls at Anacostia Skate Pavilion. When I was warming up, one came over to ask if I was doing ballet. When I was gearing up they begged me to teach them to skate. They were also fascinated with my skates (most had rentals, and they all had high boots rather than sneaker-style boots). After I skated a bit, two of them begged me to hold their hands while skating. They laughed joyously and without malice when I fell (and often immediately fell down with me!) When I would break for water or to stretch (because my shin splints were a little mad at me for skating barefoot*) they begged me to skate more. And when I packed up, they asked me why I was leaving, because they wanted me to skate more. And while I doubt I’ll see them again, for that hour we were friends.
Last Saturday I skated in the lot at the park across the street. I’ve almost never been even a little bit athletic (not counting 2 person backyard baseball with my brother when I was little.) The only time I even considered being athletic was between 8th and 9th grade when I decided I would try out for the track team. Dad got me nice running shoes and sports bras and appropriate shorts and socks and stuff and took me running. I went a quarter mile and decided I was not cut out for this sort of thing. So my first “endurance” skate was only 1.1 miles long, and I took 2 water breaks (pausing for maybe 30 seconds.) But still, I got my skate on, and I didn’t quit. Next time it’ll be farther (and start earlier-part of the reason I stopped was because there were several student drivers in the lot by the time I had done a mile, and I didn’t want to make things harder on them.) I started working on grapevines to improve my crossovers (and to be able to do them “non-derby”) when a man stopped and gave me some suggestions. He was walking back from the bike shop on route 1 where they were repairing his bicycle and noticed me on my skates. He talked to me a bit about his past on skates and then said he was going to go get his and come skate with me! His name is Melvin and he’s 60 years old, and he is now my Saturday morning skate partner, lol.
*sans socks. because I forgot to bring them. Which is also why I ended up with a blister on the ball of my right foot, which ended my skate a little early.