Pat grew up as a self-proclaimed rink rat. He worked at the local skating rink for years. Even when I met him he was still the Saturday night DJ there. He even had “liners” made that said, “Just another reason not to conceive in front of a microwave; DJ Pat O’Brien”! Even though that still makes me laugh for days, I was a little confused by his love for this place since we met when he was 24. At that time he was still skating circles around tweens. Never the less, I joined him for a few nights at the rink. I mostly sat in at the booth, eating frozen pizza and laughing at returning to the place I first held a boys hand during couples skate. Do you guys remember couples skate? It was SO serious! The lights went down and the disco balls went up! If you didn’t get asked to skate with anyone, you felt definite shame!
Fast forward 8 years to Pat’s rollerblades sitting in a box; he found them during our move and said he wanted to take up rollerblading again. Being the kind wife I am, I supported this idea for us to get some exercise in together that is fun. Luckily, while living at ma-dukes and pa-dukes house, we aren’t far from a river walk where people bike, skate, run etc. We woke up one beautiful Sunday morning after a wedding, with every muscle in my body aching in pain, and we decided to break out the “blades”. I hadn’t seriously gone skating since I was probably 13 years old so we did a few laps around the old cul-de-sac to warm up before we went to the river walk. Pat put his on and starting skating at like 30mph, going backwards and looking like he belonged in Blades of Glory. Looking back, I should have never left our street.
We headed over to the river walk and at first, I was like, “Oh yeah Pat, I’ve got this”! Egos, they’ll always get in your way. It wasn’t until I saw a family of 3 biking all over that path when I got a little nervous. I was especially nervous when they stopped in the middle of the path and placed their bikes down directly in the center. You see, I was amazing at moving forward. As my grandmother told me when we were practicing on the street, “Just glide Katie, glide”! And glide I did. It was just the stopping part that got me.
I managed to make my way down the entire path and we were on our way to make the trek back. Then it happened, the family of 3 had me surrounded. Not only was I surrounded, but the mother didn’t see me. In fact, she was so oblivious I was next to her (I was in the correct lane) she swerved towards me and yelled, “Oh sh*t”! Her biker instincts did not kick in to swerve the other way. Instead, she kept steering directly into me. I was freaking out! I was now being pushed into grass and directly into a guardrail. As my feet tried to keep stomping the four wheels into grass to get me to stop, and a bike tire hitting my legs, I grabbed the nearest pole and slammed down into the guardrail; pulling the muscle in my shoulder while I was at it. Pat told me he tried to catch up to me to catch my fall but it was too late. I was already sprawled on the ground with no integrity left in my being. The mother stopped and apologized over and over again but guess what, apology not accepted! Next time, turn your handle bars in the other direction woman! I got up, brushed the grass off of me and skated at about 2mph the rest of the way down. We eventually stopped at our car and discussed the possibility of continuing….until we saw the family start biking again. That was it, I was done. One guardrail burn and pulled muscle was enough.
As much as I’d love to quit and tell Pat I’m hanging up my blades, I think I will continue on; for Pat’s love of the sport of course. In fact, I think we will break them out this weekend. Let’s just hope I don’t break my bones along with it. Maybe this time we can even make our own couple’s skate….but let’s be real, I may still need some hand holding to keep me upright.