{April 22, 2012}   Inline—The First Time

It was a bright, sunshiny Saturday afternoon when my rollerblading coach, Brenda, and I met at the school park for my first lesson. We gave our 7-year-olds a game of ladder ball to set up and play in the grass while we changed into our inline skates on the nice, flat parking lot—the perfect place for a first attempt, Brenda assured me.

I had borrowed a pair of rollerblades and wrist guards from my friend Jen and was ready to hit the pavement—literally. Now, I may have mentioned I’m athletically challenged. Having experienced my lack of grace and coordination over the course of many years, a few close friends call me “The Flailer.” (I love them anyway.) So I was prepared for my share of spills and even planned to photograph the resulting scrapes.

Brenda, who has become a friend through encounters in our in sons’ second-grade classroom, Cub Scout Pack meetings and soccer team practices, hasn’t seen me in action. But she knows I have never been on rollerblades and haven’t roller-skated since I was in middle school.

Perhaps that knowledge made her especially patient and encouraging. (She’s also working with me on a more difficult endeavor, but I’m not going to share that until I actually manage to do it. Trust me, if I do, you will be jealous!)

She didn’t laugh at my first wobbly attempts to move forward or when I unintentionally started to roll backwards and couldn’t stop. She’s a great cheerleader, too. At one point, I made a turn but it wasn’t sharp enough. I couldn’t stop and rolled off the parking lot into the grass and sort of ran several steps in my skates. It wasn’t a graceful stop—yes, there was flailing—but I got myself back on track.

Brenda’s response: “So what if you went into the grass? You didn’t fall and you recovered…good job!” She gave me more positive reinforcement and compliments in the short time we spent together than I would normally receive in a year!

I probably surprised myself the most when I didn’t fall or injure myself during my first lesson. Even better, I had a lot of fun! This might be something I’d like to do more frequently. Brenda offered to rollerblade with me again. And my friend Mary has promised to join me, too. I think I’ll try it a few more times—and see how I weather my first few falls—before I decide if I’ll buy my own inline skates. But this “new thing” could become a regular thing for me, and that would be a good thing.



Mark Spiegel says:

No broken bones; Good job!

According to Peter… “It was a good story”.

Thanks, Mark! Your wife is a fabulous teacher! And your son obviously has great taste in stories. 😉

Becky Gillespie says:

Way to go Julie!! Looking like a professional on those rollerblades my friend.

Thanks, Becky! I think it was beginner’s luck. But I’m willing to try it again and test that theory!

Tina says:

Super job! That took major guts. I never learned how to stop or turn well but enjoy rollerblading. Haven’t done it in years. I’ll try again at roller rink with no hills or cracks and stones or boots and cats. Girls like blading. There’s a rink on or near hwy 100 we could go to sometime 🙂

I’d love to go with you and your girls! I can’t stop either, but I’ll learn if I do it often enough. I haven’t talked Dylan into it…yet. But I will. Boots and cats!

Mike B. says:

Well, small world. Brenda’s mom works at Diesel. (Actually, Brenda’s mom RUNS Diesel, but that’s unofficial). The only thing that I would say other than that was “Where was your helmet? And your elbow pads?” Remember, 47-year-old bones are much more brittle, lol…..

Very small world!
And helmet? If I wear one, how am I going to get some sense knocked into me? 😉

Michelle says:

I love this post, Julie! So happy for you and glad that you liked inline skating 🙂 Also, I totally dig( pun very much intended, hehe) your new avatar…definitely fearless!

Thank you, Michelle! LOL on your pun. 🙂 I couldn’t find any bunnies (except some chocolate ones leftover from Easter), so I went with the backhoe. Will update as I become more fearless…indoor rock climbing soon!

Michelle says:

I think the backhoe is perfect! Oh wow, I’ve never done indoor rock climbing before. Should be fun and can’t wait to see your post about it!

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