Health & Fitness, Roller Skating, Social Distancing

My Roller Skating Journey: A Series

Roller Skating Journey

Part 1: The Beginning

So for some reason roller skating is the new trend. I low-key feel a way about this because for me, it never went out of style. It has always been a passion. Now everybody and their grandmothers’ grandmother wants to pick up the trade steeuupps. Skates are flying off the online shelves like Richards’ bake and shark sandwiches on Maracas Beach (don’t worry if you don’t get the reference issokay) just know them shits gone-gone!

Skates on the shelves were like…

As I was saying though, I’m not new to the game. My father taught me how to skate when I was a young whipper snapper. I remember taking a trip with him to Bradlees so I could pick out my first pair. They were Barbie themed. Of course he got all the protective fixins to go along with them. I hated wearing them (and still do) because they were so restricting. Granted they came in handy because I do remember falling a few times as we practiced. By the time I was 10 years old, I knew how to skate pretty well. Thankfully, I acquired a best friend around that time who was also into roller skating. 

Once we became tweens our new obsession was going to Chez Vous skating rink every Saturday (and sometimes Friday too)! We kept that tradition until I headed to college. The rink was the hot spot even if you didn’t get on wheels. Imagine going to the rink around the time Bad Boy was running the hip-hop scene and rudebwoy chunes, like Bounty Killa’s “Look Into My Eyes” and Red Rat’s “Oh No” were all the rage in the hood. To say I had a blast back in dem days is an understatement. 

The Chez Vous locker area…

I think everyone in the rink looked forward to the break out sessions on the skate floor. If you’re not familiar, the DJ would ask everyone to clear the floor so that a select group could show out and show off (i.e. ladies only, men only or couples). Oh, reverse skate was also a thing. There were benefits and downfalls to each. As a teen, of course,  I loved to watch fly ass boys skate their way around the floor with nuff dance swag. It was a high, googly eye time in my life; wasn’t nuffin sexier than a young man who could flex with style and grace on a pair of quads. This still holds true today as a matter of fact. 

As a girl who knew how to hold her own, you better believe I always looked forward to doing my thang come time for ladies only. Mind you, I only dominated the forward skate lol. No way I was doing anything backwards or dramatic in those days LOL. I wanted to though, but was too scared of humiliating myself. If I had today’s IDGAF attitude it would have been a wrap for alladem! I kept it light with the few {forward} tricks I knew how to do without bussin my tail. 

Couples skate was always cool. It was like waiting to be asked to a dance each time. Never quite knowing who (if anybody) would ask you to roll with them. Then of course I had to be prepared to let whomever know that I didn’t skate backwards, so not to try anything over the top. Worst case scenario, I went out on the floor with bestie and we’d practice our couples skating together (cues “That’s What Friends Are For”).  

90’s Roller Hood Girls! Don’t ask about my outfit…I know. What was I thinking?!

The highlight of the night would be retreating off the floor to pop off our skates, only to wobble back onto the floor with regular shoes. There was always 30 minutes of real dancing at the end of the night. That’s when all the Caribbean people showed out. Nuff dutty wines before they kicked us out boi! Then of course, there was the let-out on the sidewalk in front of the venue but no sensible teenager dared to stay out there. Me, I was the sensible teen. Our ride would always be waiting and I was grateful. Because this girl was not tryna get shot. Meh whan live to roll another day.  

SMDH… Oh to be young again LOL. Bubble Jackets and bear bags

Okay… enough for now. Hold onto that until the next Roller Journal Entry. Believe me, there plenty more where this came from. Stay tuned!