As I careen wildly (and helplessly) towards my 30th birthday, it’s no surprise that I’ve gone in search of new activities to fill my days and distract me from another of life’s milestones. I’ve been going to the gym fairly often, which is nice. It’s true what they say – after forcing yourself to go for the first few weeks, you really begin to enjoy it. Now I find myself getting angry when I’m unable to at least get a run in after work.
My newest venture involves falling down. A lot. Inline hockey. This basically involves me moving at high speeds with four tiny wheels under each foot. Do not call it rollerblading. These are inline hockey skates – they are far cooler and, as a result, plenty expensive.
The most notable difference between my inline hockey skates and rollerblades would be the brake. Rollerblades have a brake, while hockey skates do not. This means trouble.
I received my skates on Friday, then took them out for a spin on Saturday afternoon. At Jellybeans, the roller-rink. Amidst the many kids zipping around with no fear, and the fathers doing their best rollerboogie moves, and the MILF-ish mothers looking around for attention, you may have spied me….the guy by himself, slowly and carefully trying to remember how to skate for the first time in 12-14 years. I fell once of my own accord, and once when someone spun around directly in front of me and I couldn’t avoid the collision.
Sunday was my first game of pickup hockey. Terrible idea. My 90 minutes of counterclockwise circles at Jellybeans had not prepared me for this. I fell down. Multiple times. Having grown up playing floor hockey (on feet), I knew where I should be and how to help the team. The problem is that I couldn’t have gotten to the right spot if I had called a cab. It wasn’t pretty. And I’m developing a nice bruise on my left ass cheek (pictures definitely probably not forthcoming).
Today I got two hours of rink time to improve my skating. It paid off. I feel much more balanced and potentially not embarrassing to my team. This is the difficult part for me. I’m really competitive. I’m not a natural athlete, but I’ve been decent enough at basketball, tennis, golf, racquetball, floor hockey, softball, baseball, table tennis and bocce ball to at least contribute to a team or put up a good fight. I don’t expect to win every time out, but I’m going to fight like a meth addled bail jumper before I go down.
So when I fell down today, again, on the same left ass cheek, I did exactly what I should have – I got up.