In keeping with our sort-of resolution to get back in shape this year, James and I bought inline skates on Saturday.
Then we went inline skating at East Coast Park.
(This story doesn’t exactly end well. Fortunately for us, there is no photographic evidence.)
I took up figure skating briefly some ten years ago, so I already had some of the rudiments of inline skating. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that the differences have to do with basic math and physics. Two blades mean fewer moving parts to control than eight wheels; ice remains at a constant 180-degree plane, but even the gentlest slope on a paved road means that gravity has a say in what happens next.
James, on the other hand, had only been on inline skates five or six times to date. So I tried to help by unwittingly adopting my dear ol’ Dad’s method of instruction, which is basically: “See what I’m doing? Now do the same.” (This was how Dad (unsuccessfully) taught me how to swim.) I did, however, attempt to throw in some actual instructional details. E.g. keep your centre of gravity low by bending your knees and keeping your butt down, and always keep your hands in front of you.
This general strategy worked, until we reached the rather hilly area just before the Seafood Centre. We were rolling comfortably down the first slope when a frakkin’ LORRY joined us on the bicycle path, edging us onto the very edge of the path.
I was in front, and had fleeting visions of James face-planting right into the back of said lorry. So I was quite relieved to hear him call out from behind me after the lorry had passed. Alas, it was to tell me that he’d fallen.
This is where I made a pretty big boo-boo. I’d nearly reached the crest of the next slope when I heard James’ voice from far away and below. So I stopped to ask “Are you okay?”
And then I started rolling backwards.
It all happened so fast; one minute I was standing still, the next minute I was careening madly – BACKWARDS – towards the spot where James landed after he fell. My brain kicked in only belatedly as I realised that, this is it, I’m going to wipe out.
It was mostly luck that I managed to throw my body weight forward in order to fall on my front, despite rolling backwards. (Mad skills, I haz them. In limited quantity only.) My hands didn’t quite break the fall, so I landed partly on my torso and had the breath knocked out of me as a consequence.
Scraping ourselves off the asphalt, we assessed the damage:
– One round of skin neatly scraped off James’ right knee, at least 3 cm in diameter
– Six or seven long scratches down Germaine’s left thigh
We looked pretty pathetic, but it wasn’t all that bad for our first excursion.
We’re going again this weekend if weather permits. With any luck, I won’t return with any stories this time.