brian

I want you to know that I have recently begun rollerskating, recreationally. Also, I have broken my ankle. The two events are not unrelated.

I have been thinking about rollerskating since the start of the pandemic. Longer than that, really, because I spent a lot of time on skates when I was a kid — during the season, we played street hockey every day after school from the time I was 11 or 12 until I was around 16. And while I was an okay hockey player, I was a pretty good skater with all kinds of moves that transcended my game.

This was in the 1980s, which someone recently told me was like 40 years ago, which doesn’t seem possible because everyone knows the ’80s were 20 years ago. If it were true, that would put me right around 50, which I suppose is the case.

So I made my move a few weeks ago, dropping by the rink on a Sunday night for a few hours of flailing in a circle, my moves completely lost to the ravages of time. But I started to get the feel for it, and when I went back a few weeks later I could hit the crossover turn, weave through traffic and execute some rudimentary footwork. I was on my way back, baby.

I bought some skates and got to work. And it wasn’t long before I took a spill bad enough to crack — slightly — the very base of my fibia, right by the lateral malleolus.

I was trying to do a jump.

It’s embarrassing, this hubris that led me to believe I could get back to my old form, or at least something approaching it, in a manner of weeks. And it was dangerous — I could have snapped my foot right off my leg! Maybe not, but even the doctor at the urgent care told me I was lucky.

And I’m like, Lucky I got such a sweet pair of skates.

I’ll be back on them in weeks, and by Thanksgiving I’ll be hitting the backwards transition, pulling bubbles, doing that thing where you crouch with one foot in front of the other. Slowly this time, though, one move at a time.

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