So, this has very little to do with quilting, but it does explain a little bit how I roll. Which, if you stretch it far enough, does relate to my art. Because art imitates life or life imitates art or whatever.
I have been in a funk. Lots of life changes in the last few years. If you know me, you know I’m spontaneous. Which might be a nice way of saying erratic. Impetuous. Impulsive. You get the idea. I plan. Sorta. At times. But I call myself “outline girl”. I have a general idea of where I’m going but lots of the blanks are filled in as I go. I kinda like it that way.
I took my four-year-old to a beautiful skate park last week and decided I wanted to start rollerblading. I wanted to get some exercise and stop sitting on the sidelines eating protein bars while my boys had all the fun. To be honest, I have been thinking about it for while, but this week, that impulsive little bug hit me and I went looking for rollerblades I could afford. I actually really want to skateboard, but thought this would be a good transition step. So, on my lunch break on Saturday, I went into a consignment store and lo and behold, there were a pair of used skates in my size for $28! Must have been fate. Which is how us impulsive girls think. I snatched them up, ran down the street to a second hand sports store and got a new set of knee and elbow pads and wrist guards. I may be impetuous, but even I have my boundaries. Though I sorta forgot about the helmet even though I’m a nazi about making my boys wear them. I was so excited that after work, I ran home, changed into some cute workout clothes with long, fun patterned socks so I could look like one of those retro 70’s cute skater girls and headed for Lake Murray, which has a great flat (or so I thought it was flat…) three mile paved path around it.
I was pumped. I sat in my car with the door open putting on my sweet new (to me) skates, listening to fun music. It was a perfect Southern California evening—cool air, sun glistening off the water, ducks, people strolling. I almost bit it getting my skates on, because as I was tyring to get the second one on, the first one, with my foot in it, kept sliding away from the car and pulling me with it. But, I won that battle and was all decked out and ready to go. However, I just HAD to take a photo of myself first because nothing happens if it’s not on Facebook, so I set up the camera on the back of my car and nonchalantly tried to take a picture without anyone noticing. I did it, but from that angle, my thighs look massive, but I digress. I grabbed my phone, turned on the music and started heading out. It quickly became apparent that I had not skated in a very long time. I felt like Bambi on ice, and the road seemed really rough and my skates weren’t very smooth. I kept checking to see if something was on the road, but no. I checked my skates…they looked fine. I check again a few feet later and noticed there were cracks in the wheels on the right skate. By the time I went twenty feet, I knew something was wrong. I turned around and look behind me, only to see a trail of broken rubber pieces leading from my car. I looked down at my skates and ALL the wheels—every single piece—had come completely off of the right skate and they were bare! And I had left a trail of bread crumbs. So nonchalantly. My plans were thwarted! I was pretty disappointed and tried to cruise back to my car, ignoring the path of destruction, hoping nobody would know it was me. Sigh.
Part of me was still determined to go find new wheels, but since I had left my shoes at home, I couldn’t go shopping for new wheels in just my cute socks. And by the time I got new wheels, the gates to the lake would be closed. So, Amazon it was! Instead of working out, I ate truffles and sat on my butt and ordered cute blue wheels, set to arrive on Monday (today).
The next morning when I arrived at church, I noticed one little piece of wheel rubber sitting on the roof of my car. Somehow it had survived the drive home and to church the next morning and was just sitting there mocking me. And then when I got home that night from work, I tried to carry everything up the stairs at one time and bit it on the first step, scraping up my knee, though barely missing the kneecap. I almost took that as a sign to go back to quilting. But I’m a rebel.
So today, I was a little burnt out at work, and knowing those cute little wheels would be waiting for me when I got home, I got all pumped to head back to the lake tonight, despite the fact that it was grey and cold and misting. I didn’t change my clothes this time…figured my camo jeans and long sleeve shirt would be added protection from my inevitable spills. So I got home, changed my wheels (like a pro!), grabbed a few pieces of salami and headed for the lake. When I arrived, this little geese family welcomed me and I figured it was a sign. I did a repeat of the fun music and putting my skates on and attempting a photo, but my thighs still looked huge from that angle, so figured I would find a better spot on the path. And I headed out, classic country music station on my headphones, ironically Johnny Cash singing “I Walk the Line”. Must have been the shirt.
Now…a few things. First of all, what is it about a woman of my age rollerblading that was amusing. Was it because I was decked out in my ripped camo pants, Johnny Cash shirt and aviators and it looked like I was trying way to hard to look too cool? Or was it because I still looked like Bambi on ice? Or is it because I looked too old and too unstable and they were just sympathy smiles? Or was it because nobody rollerblades anymore? Which isn’t true, really. Just maybe not at Lake Murray? But they’re at the beach all the time and yeah, it’s a little retro, but still fun, right? I got so many looks and smirks and smiles, but I’ve grown comfortable with being my own woman, so whatev. And maybe it’s just because I looked really cute…one can dream.
Second of all, that path is not flat. Nor is it smooth. Why did I think it was either? I almost died on the very first curve that dips down farther than I was prepared for. So half a mile in I stopped and Googled “how to stop on rollerblades”. No joke. I stood there on a patch of flat ground and watched two YouTube videos from Asha from SkateFresh teaching you how to stop on rollerblades. Probably should have done this before I started. Although she really should have called it “how to slow down”, not “how to stop” because frankly, though both methods were quite helpful, neither brought me to full stop without a little extra work. I practiced the methods for a few minutes until I felt I could keep myself from crashing, and continued on. And you know what? It worked! And I hit a few bumpy patches, and flailed my arms a little bit and I’m sure I’ll be super sore tomorrow, but I made it around the lake and it was super fun.
But third, I also learned that I really have to focus. This is not a daydreaming activity. At least not for me. Because I learned that as soon as I get distracted looking at the wildlife or the lake, I stood up too straight and didn’t lean forward and almost fell. And then…I actually did fall. Right after this woman on a bike smirked at me and pointed to her helmet and shook her head. And I wanted to tell her to MYOB, but I knew bad karma never ends well for me. And maybe even thinking it got me. But I stopped at this spot to get a photo of myself and I pulled out my phone and wasn’t paying attention and I fell backwards on the side of my butt! And it hurt. But nothing cracked. Nothing that I know of. And then I realized that I definitely need that helmet. Of course, I wouldn’t fall forward and use my brand new gear. Thankfully I have a big butt, so that helped cushion the fall.
I finally made it to the end of the path where you have to turn around, and still needed that perfect photo. It was cool and windy and there were these little posts there that were the perfect height for smaller thigh photos but no way to prop up my phone. So I pulled someone’s half empty Starbucks out of the trash and used it to lean my phone against. But the wind was blowing and since the timer was on my phone it kept taking blooper shots. And then I couldn’t stay in position without rolling, and it was a lot of work to get a photo, so I did a few silly ones, because by this point I was feeling giddy that I’d even made it that far!
I cruised back like a pro, got my skates off without incident (besides pulling the inner boot out by accident), came home and did 10 minutes of yoga stretches. Out of necessity. So tight. Oh, and I Googled roller derby in San Diego and signed up for orientation for and the adult boot camp. That’s right. Now I need a Derby Doll’s name….any suggestions?? I’m getting into a hot bath now. Going to watch “how to skate” videos on YouTube while I soak.
I foresee a roller derby quilt in my future. Seriously.