Fitness and taking up space

I am loving learning to roller skate. I just love it. I want to, one day, feel totally comfortable, on wheels, as if they are my feet. I want to dance on my skates. I want to street skate.

Until now, I have been visiting roller skating rinks around the city. The rinks allow me the safety of a flat, smooth surface, leveling out the playing field and allowing for a cleaner, smoother practice. But it is quite unlike street skating.

So, I packed my backpack up, skates, wrist guards, knee guards and helmet and I walked to IKEA, down in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I told myself that I was merely, taking my skates for a walk, in case an area looked good for a trial run.

It worked.

Now, I have to say, I confront my demons in doing this. It is difficult to feel vulnerable, outside, while moving on wheels, especially as I learn. But I want this. I want to take up space in this way. I want to learn to dance as I skate.

We women are often fed a line that says we should defer, make ourselves smaller, make room for others, not that we need to listen to this societal conditioning, but the messaging is there. Skating feels like the opposite to me. It raises me up by 4-5″, it makes me protect myself with gear. It makes me seek self efficacy and it puts a smile on my face too. I will get better at this. I will feel less vulnerable and more empowered soon.

It is OK to take it slowly and to learn throughly. This space is mine.




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