Column - Skating memories roll onSkating needs to make a comeback. No, not the winter, ice skating kind or the summer, inline or Rollerblading kind. The good old-fashioned roller skating kind with the tanish-brown, semi ugly skates with the four lovely orange wheels.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Skating needs to make a comeback.
No, not the winter, ice skating kind or the summer, inline or Rollerblading kind.
The good old-fashioned roller skating kind with the tanish-brown, semi ugly skates with the four lovely orange wheels.
In elementary school, I remember having several of my birthday parties at the roller rink in Willmar, which is where I grew up.
We would skate for a couple of hours, then all my friends would get to go in the special birthday room and have pizza, pop and of course, birthday cake.
There was always a lot of silliness and plenty of giggling. My parents probably had to take a ton of aspirin when we got home.
Then, after we finished eating, I would hear over the loudspeaker, “We have a birthday today. Would Celeste and all her friends make their way out to the floor?” And then they would play the Happy Birthday song and all my friends would sing to me.
Oh, those were the good ol’ days.
Well, last Sunday, I met a long-time friend of mine, Trena, in St. Cloud for what I hoped would be a fun-filled afternoon of good old-fashioned roller skating.
Back in junior high and maybe the first couple months of high school, I spent almost every single Friday and Saturday night at the roller skating rink in Willmar. In fact, that’s where Trena and I met. She started working at the rink when she was 14-years-old.
Another friend of ours, Tracy, would also hang at the rink. We were quite the trio. Just ask our parents!
Of course, we all had our own skates so we didn’t have to use the rentals – the tan skates with the orange wheels. Oh, how I loved my bright, white skates with the colored wheels – I think they were either red or blue. I actually can’t remember. I almost always had pom-poms looped through the laces of my skates. I know for sure at one time, they were baby soft pink pom-poms that were nearly as big as a grapefruit.
Back then, I was the coolest skater out on the floor, which had glow-in-the-dark stars splattered everywhere. OK, maybe I wasn’t the coolest, but I thought I was anyway. And I felt I was.
I wasn’t into sports or other extracurricular activities at school and I didn’t have any musical talents, but I had roller skating. It was the one thing I was good at. Really good at.
Tracy, Trena and I would twirl our way around that rink with grace and style, or at least most of the time. Yes, I had plenty of bruises after falling down, mostly as a result of trying to do something new, like jumping or maybe it was trying to show off – I guess I don’t really remember.
Maybe it was because we were just too speedy. Sometimes we would zip around that rink like speeding bullets. When I look back on it, skating is probably the reason all of us were in such good shape. I recently found out that skating for just a couple of hours burns nearly 1,000 calories.
Well, Sunday came and went, and Trena and I, along with my 8th grade niece and her friend, spent three hours at the Skatin’ Place in St. Cloud.
I couldn’t believe it when Trena pulled out her skates – yes, the same ones she had when we were just mere teenagers. I, on the other hand, had to rent a pair of skates. But I didn’t mind, it really brought back a feeling of nostalgia. I had an overwhelming feeling of giddiness run through my entire body as I laced up those skates. I couldn’t wait to get on that floor.
My legs wobbled slightly as I made that first turn and I felt a little unsteady. But by the second, third or maybe it was the fourth round; both Trena and I were right back at it. Just like riding a bike, our skating ability came right back and our feet glided across the floor as the wheels of our skates turned round and round.
Maybe I wasn’t as good as I once was, but I was doing it – after more than 20 years – I was roller skating again and it felt so good. I could even twirl a little and going backward was almost as easy as going forward.
Trena and I were instantaneously brought back to our youth. We were giggling, bubbly teenagers, laughing, singing, dancing and skating our way around that rink. Round, after round, after round.
In the three hours we were there, we didn’t leave the floor for more than a total of 20 minutes. And the best part, neither of us fell down once. No bumps or bruises of any kind were had that day. We may have had a few sore muscles, but it was all worth it.
The only words I can use to describe that day are totally awesome.
Roller skating truly needs to make a comeback. Our youth should be able to make the same memories as I did – the kind that will roll through your mind forever.