Here is a compilation of my street skating progress, over a two month period, set to Al Green’s Love and Happiness. Big huge shout out to @Gypsetcity @femme.orbit and Lefrak Lakeside for helping to get me (and my Man) rolling!
Moxi Roller Skates
So, I took my first outdoor fall off my skates, I fell twice, actually. I did not hurt myself. I was wearing wrist guards, knee pads and my helmet! All geared up. Yeah, it startled me. It hurt momentarily. I do have a bruise, maybe two. In all of the videos I have been watching, they say, ‘If you are going to skate, you are going to fall.’ It really wasn’t all that bad!
I totally feel successful about falling today. 🙂
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.
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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I am committed to skating. The only way to get anywhere, is to practice. So I am practicing. I watch @dirtydeborahharry on YouTube, then I try things out. Dirty Deborah Harry told me (as if I know her!! I don’t. She is a YouTube skate celeb that teaches quite well. She also makes me want to move to California.) to scope out an outdoor spot, check it over for gravel, smoothness and cracks and then to continue to visit and skate the area. So. I have found a quiet spot behind IKEA in Brooklyn. There aren’t too many people who go there and it is fairly flat and crack free. I am getting my time in! # I also did a half hour of yoga and three sets of #sandbagtraining in. I have programmed single leg deadlift into my workout because I think balance lifting will help skating.
Fitness is my love. It is a benefit from being diagnosed with cancer. It is one thing that I can do to instill a benefit, without popping pills. It is fun. It helps keep my weight at a comfortable place. It helps me feel confident and engaged and it helps me feel and know my body. Little did I know, when I started this journey, what else that would bring.
Two years ago, my Man and I started walking-what for us are, long walks of four + miles per day. We explore Brooklyn, crossing over either the Brooklyn or the Manhattan Bridge, into Manhattan and then meander the streets, filling our eyes and ears with our urban surroundings. We prefer the Manhattan because its got a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and less people!
I started dance walking, which looks like skipping, lunging, sashaying and prancercise, all rolled into one. This allows me to get ‘extra cardiovascular exercise’ in. It’s a boon too, in that it helps me embrace my authentic self and it anneals me to what people think. I no longer care about looking the fool, I would rather have fun and enjoy myself.
So then, I came upon Gypsetcity (aka Coco) on instagram. Coco uses roller skates to navigate her city, to dance, to enjoy herself. I became smitten. I could imagine myself dance skating the streets of New York City! So for my Birthday, I got a pair of purple Moxi Lolli roller skates and signed myself up for a workshop by Coco!
Now, I begin learning to propel myself forward, to stop, to settle on my feet, as I move through space, on wheels. I am committed to using a local roller skating rink for now. I feel I need the flat, controlled surface-for now. I have a little less than two months to get comfortable with it all before the workshop. And, well, I am doing really well. Today, I loosened up. I was fast. Slow. Nimble. I slowed down and shifted my weight to make swirly lines. I did bubbles.