Actually, “can’t” may be too strong of a word. It’s somewhere between “can’t” and “am terrified to,” if I’m being completely honest.
Anyway, no matter the case, I don’t skate– roller, ice, or otherwise.
The weird thing is, I remember roller skating as a kid. I mean, basically all my friends had a skating party for at least one of their birthdays, and I know that I used to skate up and down my driveway and street. I vividly remember what my skates looked like and that one time that I fell on the driveway and scuffed the toe of the right skate.
But sometime between those memories and college, I developed some sort of mental block about skating. I found that I no longer trust myself to pick up my foot and move it ahead of the other while my feet were strapped to wheels. I kind of shuffle along, hoping I don’t fall down and get run over by the speed demon skaters.
I know. I’m a weirdo.
The only explanation I have is that I went for years without ever skating. When we moved from Savannah when I was 9, I was kind of past the skating party age and we didn’t really have friends to skate with on our new street (plus, I was never the kid that wanted to do it all that much in the first place). I grew out of my skates and never really thought about it again.
And then I got to college, where you attempt to grow up and relive your childhood in a span of four years. There were two skating parties held during my first semester, and I went to both, but when I tried to get out of the floor…bam. Skating mental block. I quickly grabbed the wall and shuffled way off the rink and onto the safety of the carpeting.
I literally could not make myself pick my foot up and place it in front of the other while on skates.
It’s even worse with ice skating. I never learned this skill as a child, so with or without this skating mental block, there would be a steep learning curve for me. The first time we went my friends tried helping me around: “Just glide your feet…good…now pick one up and put it in front of the other…” No. Didn’t work. I held on to Samantha’s hand and the wall for dear life, internally praying I wouldn’t run over a small child.
So I’ve just learned to accept this little idiosyncrasy. I still attempt to conquer this mental block whenever the rink isn’t too crowded, but I’m actually just as happy sitting on the sidelines playing mom: taking pictures, watching the pile of stuff, taking and giving back jackets when my friends get too hot or cold. The Type 2 in me is quite content when I’m making sure that others are having fun, so it doesn’t bother me at all to sit in the bleachers waving and grinning.
And maybe one day I’ll be able to skate without fear of falling on my butt five times in as many minutes. But even if I don’t, at least I’ve got a fun fact for “get-to-know-you” games.