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I'm Thinking About Getting Back Into Rollerblading

I saw a post on Twitter last night (since deleted, perhaps out of shame which I don’t share) that rollerblading deserves another shot and I couldn’t agree more. I was immediately inspired and memories of blading down a freshly paved road immediately washed over me. As a kid, that was the ultimate. Nothing beat shredding pavement with the wind blowing your hair back.

Yes, the wind blew my hair back. Because I didn’t wear a helmet. I wasn’t a nerd, I wasn’t geared up with knee pads and wrist guards and helmets. I offered my body up to the elements, freely accepting the possibility of brain injury or broken wrists (casts were cool at the time, mind you), because that’s what bad boy bladers did: we threw reason and safety to the whipping wind. We played street hockey on roller blades, and tried to make tennis balls a suitable hockey puck, despite the fact that playing on feet was clearly WAY easier but we wanted it to be known that we were cool enough to know how to blade, no matter what a hindrance it was to changing direction quickly. We were the envy of every girl’s eye at the Roller Rink birthday parties, as we were very obviously the more desirable mates with our weaving in and out of folks, backward skating abilities, and jumping up the step into the arcade area, keeping our momentum on the carpet as other lesser children stumbled around and grabbed onto anything for stability. Kids who knew how to rollerblade ruled the world for a time.

Now I’m not sure when exactly it was that enjoying that activity of rollerblading went from being an awesome display of athletic prowess to the taunted practice it is today, I suspect it was during the rise of the “Know what the hardest part of rollerblading is?” joke of 2004, but I’m taking it back. I’m not going to get a pair of RBs and grind, though I did try that once I realized an Ollie was impossible but still wanted to hang out at the skate park, I’m going to get some inline blades, rotate my wheels responsibly, and take to the streets. Probably even going to have brakes on the back of them so I don’t have to jump onto lawns in order to stop and avoid traffic. Some will call me a loser, others will call be gay, but more will call me a pioneer. I’ll be forever known as the man who made rollerblading cool again, and I can’t wait.