Saturday, October 18, 2008

So I bought myself some rollerblades....!!!

When I was young rollerskating was the rage. Hardly a day went
by that several kids werent out in the streets getting some much
needed exercise...fresh air...and losing a fair amount of skin in the
process....but it was FUN!!! scrapes and all.

These traditional white skates were the usual picks for the girls and boys generally had the black ones that took about an hour to lace up properly when you first got a pair but once you had the knack you could be good to go in as little as 15 minutes. I loved that feeling of being able to glide along without a whole lot of effort...and then once you had been skating awhile and took the skates felt like you were still gliding in a peculiar kind of way...way cool!

Eventually a new kind of skate came out that only the more "well to do" kids seem to own. These tennis shoe skates were a must have that few of us ever got (at least in my neighborhood). I remember when the girl next door got the first pair on our block...she would spend copious amounts of time doing the laces just right. Another 10 minutes dusting off the leather etc...and then for the most part she might spend as little as 10 minutes actually skating...and most of her time giving lectures to a rapt audience of sweaty faced kids on just how wonderful her new skates were. I was always hopeful she might get bored and decide to give them to one of us someday and Id be first in if!

Well...its been a few years since I thought about rollerskating and when I decided to give my youths passion another go around...what do I find but that rollerskates have long been replaced by rollerblades. Ive always been one that finds it hard to try new things so have been looking far and wide for my old tennis shoe type brands...I prefer my wheels on all 4 corners...easier for balance in my opinion. No such luck though...most people in Bahrain have never heard of hopes dwindled.I finally faced the fact that it was rollerblades or rollerblades it was.

Now the sad fact is my ankles are not quite the slender athlectic tools of my energetic youth as they used to be...5 kids and a forced sedentary lifestyle seems to have sent them actually finding some rollerblades that could go the distance (around my ankles) was a chore in itself. Those buckles dont give much and the resulting cut of blood circulation to my feet kept the rollerblading attempts to a minimum. But eventually I found a pair that has velcro (the bane of fashion concious people everywhere but a lifesaver to us hard to see our feet type) and Im all set to go.

My first and only foray thus far has been around my living room...all it did was prove to me just how hard it is to rollerblade...images of me just gliding off into the sunset were quickly doused while I clung to every immovable object and cursed my now extrememly weak ankles (must mean I actually still have some since they were singing out loud and clear at this sudden call to action)...but I know that with all takes time. I will do a little everyday...and maybe, despite my gravitational pull that seems to surpass just about every other force of nature I currently take part in...I hope to take myself into the great outdoors eventually. Then again...the great outdoors hold such obstacles as traffic...road construction...and Wahabis...who, as everyone knows...dont take kindly to women doing anything that results in her breathing hard enough to cause her bosom to heave...Lord forbid!

And while I start out as the decidely voluputous character shown above...I hope to achieve the slimmed down version shown here...ah to dream a little dream...

But knowing my luck I will no doubt remain much the same as I am but with a nifty new accessory thrown in just to change things up a is good to me you know.

Wish me luck everyone....(fingers crossed wouldnt hurt either)


Anonymous said...

Good luck to you... I attempted roller blading a few years ago. Just like you, as a kid I was totally into roller skating. We lived on a steep hill in Cali and I eventually figured out flying down that hill without wrecking. However, as an adult on blades was a completely different situation, on FLAT! My neighbours asked me to practice somewhere other than our parking lot because I kept crashing into their cars. I havent been on them since. Maybe I should try again. Anyway, good luck!

Um Naief said...

i love rollerblading. used to do it all the time in the States. haven't since living in Bahrain, but saw some kids doing it tonight and i wanted to again.

it takes a bit to get the hang of it. don't give up... just make sure you have the appropriate padding for when you do go outdoors. :) taking a few falls is only normal... i can remember going down paths w/ hills, in the beginning, and would get to going so fast that it would scare me. but... that fear soon leaves when you get the hang of it.

breaking can be difficult, depending on what type of rollerblade you have. i used to have the kind where you only needed to move your leg forward and it would break you. w/ some... you have to actuallly lift your toes on the right foot so that your heel stops you.

good luck to you. :)

Aafke said...

Dear Coolred! did you get some protective gear too? Like in the illustration of your future self? Wristprotectors are essential! when they became fashionable in the Netherlands the rise in broken wrists was astronomical! I've got the ellbow and knee-caps too.
Helps sooo much!
That said, I consider my rollerblades my second best toys (after my recumbent-bike) ever!!!!
Let us know how you're doing!

coolred38 said...

Damn! You ladies pointed out the obvious...I forgot padding...figured I had enough all on my own...sigh. Will get some post haste.

Something I have noticed about those that partake in outdoor sports here in Bahrain...Americans (or Europeans...hard to tell) are more than likely sporting safety equipment...such as helmets for biking, than any other nationality hands down. We have a labor force of thousands from India and Pakistan etc that get around on bikes...and Ive yet to see one of these men wearing a helmet.

Then again...I dont find many people here that seem all that concerned with their personal safety...or the safety of others.

Anyhow...thanks for the words of support...will keep you updated.

The Queen said...

I'm impressed with your ambition and bravery! Good luck and be safe.

marahm said...

Good luck, and be careful! There's nothing more invigorating than resuming an activity one once enjoyed in the freshness of youth.