Rollerblading and redefining adventure!


Ok, usually my sense of adventure is probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10! Believe me, you won't me zipping at 30 miles per hour on a wire line strung between two trees in the jungle or white water rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. In July I hope to make it to Niagara Falls for some sightseeing, that’s about it. However today I might have just pushed up the scale a little to a 3! After 14 years I decided to get back on the rollerblades.

No, it is a not an episode of Fr. Ted. One of the sisters in our house here offered me a loan of a pair of rollerblades. I hemmed and I hawed about it but in the end I decided to give it a go. I wouldn’t call myself a serious blader but even as a postulant I used to skate around my home town Athlone during holiday time on my sister’s rollerblades. I remember it being this incredible sensation of freedom, with a constant edge of adrenaline, because you never knew when the cracks in the path up ahead were going to make you fall and examine the same path up close. One of my most victorious moments was skating down the Friary Hill without ending up in the Shannon River! My fellow Athlonians can appreciate this as the hill is quite steep. However my victory was short lived when upon my return, as I leaned over to ring the doorbell at my home; I fell over and acquired two significant cuts on my knees!
If you want to do something potentially humiliating that involves being outside, early Sunday mornings are probably the time to do it, unless you live in Ottawa which seems to be the fitness capital of Canada. At 5am in the morning, it is not uncommon to meet cyclists, joggers and runners on their daily routes. However I decided not to wait until the weekend and walked down to the canal bank, sat down on a bench and laced up.  The next challenge was to actually stand up. This is harder than it sounds. Professional rollerbladers glided by effortlessly. Joggers energetically went on their way. Cyclists too. And there was I glued to the bench. My first thought was how do I get up!? What if I fall? I had visions of my escapade ending up on youtube as I stood, wobbled and tried to stay on my feet. I stood and tried to keep my balance, telling myself all the time that I can do this.

Guess what, it actually worked! Holding onto the bench, I tottered down a few feet.  Stopped. Took stock. I had rolled about as slow as you can possibly roll and was still standing. I pushed off a few more feet before my good sense caught up with me. I didn't whoosh so much as trundle, but I leaned forward properly and didn't fall on my behind. Victory!  I ventured up as far of Dow’s Lake which is about 6 km away so I was quite chuffed with myself for this. There were some dodgy moments which resulted in me pulling off some not-so - elegant pirouettes to stop myself meeting the concrete face to face or crashing into other people. Actually, now that I think of it, there were probably more like ninja moves or an imitation of Bambi-on-ice! As familiarity returned, I found myself gaining confidence and acquiring some momentum and speed along the way, still somewhat unsteady at points but willing to keep going, and get up if I did fall.After all, isn't that what life is about, getting up when we fall and trusting that if we can't get up, that some kind soul will help us up!

So...now I just need to get out some more until I can actually rollerblade without looking like a complete newbie. Though whilst it is good to embrace the new, familiar territory is also good. Summer has begun and so has research and writing for the seminar paper which I hope to work on seriously over the next few weeks. The Latin and French immersion has also begun though I am not as enthusiastic about that. For the moment I am consoling myself with the fact that I have achieved a small personal goal today!  There will be probably sore muscles in the morning but it was worth it! Sorry, I have no photos of me rollerblading. (Insert imagination here! )

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