Skating’s supposed to be like riding a bike. Everyone always told me so. But every time I went skating, I always had to find a quiet corner and take 15 or 20 minutes to learn the mechanics of it all over again. For me, roller skating was always only in RAM; I could never save it to my hard drive.
Worse, I was funny-looking when I did it (well, even more so than usual) because I could only ever “push” with my right foot. Any attempt to do the graceful right-left-right-left bit with the body swaying and so forth always ended with me kissing maple. I could manage the “at speed” move up from the skating floor to the carpeted area only with substantial concentration. (And I just had to grab stuff when I got up there, because I never got the hang of the toe stop either.) I hated having to pee because the restroom was in the snack bar, and the snack bar (and restroom) floor was quite different from the skating floor, and I couldn’t adjust to it quickly. This was stress, folks. There are girls over there.
Mind, I’m only talking about the old-fashioned quad skates (do they even have those anymore?). I know better than to get anywhere near roller blades or ice skates. I actually went in the Wilcoxon Ice Complex once. I was asked to be the announcer for a skating competition. Communicate, you say? Why, yes, I have some background in that. I’d be delighted (and it was fun). Hang around and skate afterward? Oh, thank you for asking, but I’d as soon dangle my feet in a barrel of rubbing alcohol and rip my toenails out with needle-nose pliers.
I still enjoyed the Sunshine Skate Center in Oxford back in the day. One of the DJs was a big Kiss fan, and he played “Firehouse” and “Love Gun” in addition to the standard “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” The light-up ceilings were cool. There was an arcade with that ridiculous black-and-white X-and-O football game where all you ever did was spin the trackball as fast as you could. There were three nice air hockey tables. There was junk food. Good times.
But I wouldn’t say I was ever relaxed in there.