Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This is The Life

When I was in junior high school, the big thing to do on a Friday night was to go skating at the Roller Rink. I didn't have a lot of friends, but the few I had always skated on Fridays. It was a joyous day when I could get my parents to take me, too, and drop me off for that few hours of freedom. We'd all skate around with "Another One Bites the Dust" and other popular rock music blasting, disco lights spinning around in the darkness, and pool tables beckoning us to play for a quarter. When I got older, we had cars. One of the older kids would pick us all up and take us to the Roller Rink to skate for a couple of hours, and then we'd "cruise the circuit." My hometown had long stretches of one way streets up Main and down Second Street, so we'd drive around and around the circuit with Whitesnake or Bon Jovi blaring out the windows. I had my first experience holding the hand of a boy in the backseat of a car while cruising the circuit. And I got my first offer to "go out in the back seat in the parking lot" at the Roller Rink (which I turned down). I skated with boys, sometimes, during the "couples" skates, and my heart raced and fluttered as we went around the floor. I wasn't allowed to go to school dances, so this, to me, was my dancing. I was not allowed to date, so this was the closest I could get to a boy.

I guess the Roller Rink got uncool when my hometown issued an ordinance banning "cruising the circuit" and put cops out to count how many times you passed them, passing out tickets if they saw you three times in one night. We were getting too old and mature to *just* go skating, so without the cruising afterwards, we found other things to do, like football games. But I never forgot the rush of skating around that rink like I was flying. I *loved* to skate.

Sometime around 1996 or 97, I decided I missed roller skating and I wanted to take it back up again as a form of exercise. I bought a pair of roller blades at Walmart, brought them home, and put them on. But there was a problem. They had these plastic strap things that went around the lower calf and ankle to close them. The buckles were hard and snapped tight. But my legs were too thick. I was determined, though, so I stretched my legs as thin as I could and compressed the fat as much as possible, snapping the buckle shut. I pinched my skin and bled, but I tried again. I wanted to skate, and I was going to lose weight anyway, so I would MAKE them fit! I did get them on. I did go outside on the sidewalk and skate about 12 feet in near crippling pain from my legs being squashed and suffocated, the circulation cut off and having zero flexibility in my legs. I came inside, took them off, and set them aside.

And I got bigger.

It's been a dream of mine for well over a year that "when I lose this weight" I will roller skate again. I have dreamed of putting roller blades on my feet and skating for miles and miles. I imagine the freedom and joy. I want it. In fact, last October it was a HUGE motivating factor in getting myself back on plan to lose more weight. I still want it, and I still dream of it.

This week my daughter was invited to a roller skating party at the roller rink. She is only 5 and has never been skating before. Oh, I've been there before with my boys, sitting and watching them skate around. But this week, I took my daughter. I strapped those skates onto her feet. And then I strapped skates onto mine.

It was joyous. It was amazing, skating around the floor with the colored lights dancing and music playing. It took me right back to being a kid again, but it was even better now because I was holding the hand of my own little blond-haired girl, her laughter echoing over the music and her eyes shining with absolute happiness. We skated together, we skated apart. I went around and around, faster than I have travelled in ages, and I did not once feel like "the big girl" or "the clumsy one" or at all out of place. I had a wonderful time and I didn't even fall once :)

After a couple hours of skating we came home, exhausted in a very good way. And you can bet that this is far from the last time I will skate with her. And once I get some knee pads, I'll be out on the sidewalk with those roller blades, too!

THIS is the life I wanted. THIS is what I worked for. Not so much for the pounds, or the smaller clothes, or the sexier body, although all of that is nice too. But THIS, this is living and this is what makes the whole journey so very well worth the effort.


Beth at Obesity Strike said...

Bravo! So inspiring, it is so amazing how much easier it is to move in a lighter body. Enjoy!

Broken Triathlete said...

Big ups for NSVs! That's put a little hitch in my giddy-up! Thanks for the inspiration, once again :)

Ann K. said...

That is interesting. Its an aspect of weight loss I have yet to even imagine experiencing. But I can see it now. Its the freedom of just being.

Btw, your writing is incredibly vivid, felt like I was there, lol.

Shane G. said...

Lyn, that is one of my dreams. I never could skate, but when I did try here while back at a birthday party Lauren was at, my legs wouldn't cooperate because i was too fat and my muscles too weak. I have been thinking and thinking about trying again with 55 pounds less body and much more leg muscle, I am betting I would be good at it now! You may have just motivated me to try!

Anonymous said...

Hurray for skating ! How fun ! I am so glad that you can enjoy that again.

Baby Stepping said...

Ah, I can just see you, gliding along, hair trailing behind you. Enjoy! You've earned it!


Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn! lol I remember skating to "Another one bites the dust too". Thanks for unearthing an ancient memory :)

I'm so happy for you. Skating must feel great. I bet your little one was so happy out there with you too.

My ankles are swollen most of the time and one of my goals is for that to go away. So tired of swollen feet and lower legs.

I don't have a goal to skate, but I do have a goal to get me a pair of those sexy brown suede knee high boots. I've been wanting that for a decade. All I can fit my feet into is clogs or crocs.

Congrats again Lyn. You've worked so hard for it :)

Darcy said...

I want to roller skate again too! Congrats!

mensa said...

Participating in family activities is real joy. Glad you are beginning to see all the good times ahead of you!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, my jealousy is INSANE right now - this is one of my BIG goals! I have a pair of quad rollerskates that fit me, but just barely. In fact, I got them because they were the ONLY pair that fit me :( I find it difficult to stand up in them for too long, but my legs ARE getting stronger.

You're amazing, Lyn! Thank you for continuing to inspire us!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing! Skating is so much fun!! I've always been so clumbsy on ice skates or roller blades/skate, even when thin, but I still love it. Just scared of falling.

Lori said...

You took me back to my own Jr. High days. We had a cool skating rink too.

I'm so glad you are able to realize your dream of skating again.

Susan said...

That is so beautiful, the way you wrote, I could SEE you, I could see your little girl, eyes shining, big smile on her face. You're right, the new body, the health, they're great, but actually living life again - that's the gift, the real gift, of losing weight and getting fit.

Thanks for this post, I have (happy) tears in my eyes :-)

spunkysuzi said...

How awesome is it that you could enjoy something you once loved!!

Anonymous said...


Congratulations!! I know *exactly* what you are talking about. Exactly.

Olivia said...

I am so happy after reading this post that I cannot express it in words. You had me in tears at 5:00 a.m. this morning. You are such an inspiration and I hope that you get to experience life to the fullest over and over again, whether on roller skates or doing something else.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

Steelers6 said...

Neat story, Lyn. I was thinking about how much less fun it would be for your 5 yr old princess if you were not where you are today.

Obviously that made it FUN for you, wayyy more than it would have been watching as was the case with the boys. [They no doubt had fun being together.]

I think it gives her so much more confidence to see Mommy do it too.

It will be fun reading about your 'new' life & new perspective now.

Exciting times. And I appreciate the personal motivation that goes with it. "If Lyn can do it, I can do it". And "Lyn would not eat this, so I am not going to either. Look where not eating it go her!".

gaelowyn said...

Thanks again lyn.. Ya made me cry at work!! :) you have hit the proverbial nail on the head with this post. I too want to be able to do all those things with my girls.. and I'm gonna. I'll do what I can for now.. I still take them swimming, I bike ride in nice weather, we go for walks.. but dammit.. I will be healthy weight again so i can really PLAY with them and enjoy it!!

Finding The Thin Within said...

Lyn this post hit home with me!! I used to ride horses as a girl with my mom. I love these animals and it is my dream to get down to an apporpriate riding weight. I would never get on a horse being as big as I am now. But, someday, I will ride again.

Tricia B said...

Oh yeah - I am cheering for you! It is wonderful to be able to do things - things that seem normal to other people. I went backpacking for my 50th birthday. Even though I still have a ways to go with the weight loss, I can do things, normal things. Active things with my adult children - you go girl! Awesome - thanks for sharing :)

Raych said...

You should write a book! This entire blog post read like a chapter in a book. Congratulations :)


Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful. I agree...THIS amazing mobility is why I lost the weight. Some mornings I feel like I'm flying over the ground, like a freakin Hogwarts professor or something, rather than walking. It is just so liberating!

aec5940 said...

I, too, LOVE LOVE LOVE roller skating! My BFF and I used to go every Friday and Saturday night, with our 2-for-1 coupon! I just want to point out that, despite all this experience on regular skates, I absolutely cannot roller blade. So maybe you just want to try out roller blades before you buy them. (Or maybe you still have that old pair that didn't fit before). But all is not lost - there are specialty skate places online that sell wheels for regular roller skates, designed for skating outdoors. I haven't tried them yet, but I definitely want to buy some and go to the park, and skate so fast!! Anyways, good NSV!

Anonymous said...

You go, Girl! Get those knee pads & get in as much skating as you can before the weather turns cold.


Spaghetti Cat said...

I LOVE this post Lyn, and I am so glad you were able to get your "skates" back :)

Anonymous said...

Like a dream come true :-)


jincr said...

Such a happy, happy post.
You're right, this is life! At it's fullest. I'm so very happy for you and happy for you and your family. Enjoy!