Today was the first time in over a year that I strapped on the roller blades and went to town. Literally. The two miles from my house to da Harbor would have been too slow to walk, but too fast for Duce's bum paw if I rode a bike. Roller blades it is! I decided. And after I got through the mud and gravel we call Woodland Road, roller blades it was.
The sun shone brightly (go figure... again) and a light breeze blew around me as I rolled down Highway 41. I was surprised at how fast those things go. I had forgotten! Duce even had to run while I was coasting sometimes! But, of course, I had also forgotten the energy it takes to push up hills -- even little ones. I could definitely feel the muscles from my run the day before on those bad boys.
But the most memorable hill was the one sloping into town. I remembered this one from years before, and slowed down way ahead of time. The closer I got, the more I recalled about survival down this hill: zig zag slowly across the whole road, don't pick up any speed, stop every chance you can.
Alas, it was no use. My goal was to skate into the General Store parking lot. But that plan was not in my cards. I was gaining speed too quickly. Before I knew it, I was halfway past the parking lot in full zoom. How did I used to do this? I looked up at the sky for grace. I had no choice, but to be in control of the moment. That moment said, "Throw yourself on the ground now, or it will only get worse!" I mumbled some curse words, spun around, tucked and rolled.
Whew! That wasn't too bad. Good thing I had tennis shoes in my back pack to cushion the fall. Then for the inevitable. Jason came out of the store and shouted, "Are you all right?" Busted. "I'm fine!" I answered, smiling. "That was the only way I could stop." Staci came out seconds later, disappointed she missed the crash. I would have been too.
We told stories about roller skating and roller blading until Horton came up the drive. "How ya doin, Crash?" he asked. This town has windows everywhere, I swear. But hey, at least I was documented. Somehow that makes it more rewarding.
After this whole incident, I pondered how I used to stop at the General Store without heaving myself to the ground. Oh. I never have. I always kept going down, down, down the hill, and could only scrub speed at the Mariner parking lot two blocks down.
Somehow, though, I must have known I was going to fall. When I was picking out my pants before that journey, I put down a new pair and took out an old pair that had already felt the wrath of the bike chain. Just in case I fell. I have a new hole in the left knee of them now. It builds character.