Act Your Age

As a miscreant youth, I was often admonished to “act your age.”  I’m not sure I ever followed Vintage Roller Skatesthose instructions as a child or as an adult, and I often wonder when I will start to FEEL my age.  Except for those occasions when I really over- exert myself and an old softball injury creates problems with my left knee, I can’t point to any differences between today and 30 years ago.  I don’t take any medication, and as long as the activity doesn’t require a lot of flexibility, you can count me in.  I have discussed this with several of my friends, and they share my feelings on the subject.  I certainly don’t look the same, and I hope I have gained some wisdom and insight over the years that guide my actions, but I still FEEL exactly the same.  Unless I roller skate.

I loved to roller skate as a child, but a variety of circumstances (primarily no opportunity) caused me to take a hiatus for the last 20 years.  I really didn’t plan to roller skate this weekend, but when I dropped my granddaughter off at her friend’s birthday party and headed for the door with her younger sister, the look of disappointment on the little one’s face was hard to ignore.  When I asked her if she wanted to stay and skate, she enthusiastically said, “Yes!”  My original idea was to rent skates for her and walk around the rink in my tennis shoes to support her fledgling efforts.  Unfortunately, when we got to the window, the lady asked with a smirk and a hint of condescension, “Just one?”   What???  Did I look like I was too old to roller skate?  I’m not sure how it happened, but that innocent appearing question activated the part of my brain that lights up when someone says, “I dare you to…”  Before the rational, self-preservation areas of my brain could respond, I heard the words, “No, I need to pay for two,” come out of my mouth.

The next thing I knew, I was on the hardwood staggering toward the wall with the rest of the non-skaters, most of whom were under the age of 7.  My hope that skating was like riding a bicycle was quickly evaporating.  I wasn’t a roller skating darling even in my prime, but I seemed to have forgotten how to do even the most basic moves.  My granddaughter was a few feet behind me because it was every man for himself at this point.  I had a horrible image in my mind of falling in the middle of the rink and then crawling to the wall because I was unable to get to my feet.  It took close to an hour before I was steady enough to move away from the wall and offer my hand to support the granddaughter I was supposed to be helping.

I was exhausted and sore by the time we got home, but a hot bath and three ibuprofen seemed to do the trick.  Before I even put on the skates, I told the girls if I got hurt we were going to tell grandpa I fell down their stairs.  If he knew I hurt myself roller skating, I wasn’t going to get any sympathy.  I only fell once, and that was caused by the roller rink “expert” trying to give me some advice. I was mostly pain-free by the next day, and the girls and I have the memories of our skating adventure to share forever.  I don’t know when or if I will ever FEEL my age, but I may start to ACT my age, at least when it comes to roller skating.

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