Twenty years ago, whenever I thought about someone being 40 years old I would immediately consider them to be old. But now as I’m inching closer and closer to being 40 myself, I realized how wrong I had been. Yep, my knees crack when I try to do the buss it challenge, I feel like the tin man trying to learn Tik Tok dances, and I would rather listen to 90s Hip Hop than anything that is currently playing on the radio. But other than that, I legit don’t feel any different than I did 10 or 20 years ago.
Even still, turning 40 has forced me to reflect on what I’ve experienced and accomplished so far in my life and I can’t help but to think of all the things I thought I would have experienced by now. As a result, I feel the need to force myself to embark on a new adventure each day to make up for lost time. That’s why I’ve decided to make a list of a few things I’d like to experience before my 40th birthday this year! Take a look!
- Try a new hairstyle
- Learn to skate
- Learn sign language
- Travel to 3 new states
- Take a picture with a celebrity
So if you’ve been following me on Instagram then you probably know that I’ve already tackled two of the items on my list so far. I’ve recently shaved off 30% of my hair and have begun skating classes. This blog post however will provide comic relief for anyone wondering what it would be like to learn how to skate at almost 40 years old.
I have never learned how to skate but somehow in my adult life I always ended up owning a pair. Whether someone gifted me a pair or if I purchased a pair online, I seemed to always have skates lying around or tucked away in my closet. My earliest memory of wanting to learn how to skate was when I watched the movie, Roll Bounce starring Shad Moss “Bow Wow”. I had to have been 24 when that movie came out so that proves that skating was not on my mind when I was growing up. I was too consumed with riding bikes and playing double dutch when I was a kid. I don’t remember ever seeing someone skate in my neighborhood… it just wasn’t a thing.
Fast forward over a decade and for whatever reason, I decided I wanted to learn how to skate again. So, I did what I normally would, I purchased a pair of skates online and then tucked them in the closet. Let’s be real, how was I ever going to learn? Skate with the kiddies at the rink with the little triangle support? I think not. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had the desire to learn, just not like that.
During one of my Tik Tok binges I came across several skaters who would glide so effortlessly it encouraged me to want to try again. I posted on Facebook my desire to learn and almost instantly received a recommendation for an instructor less than 10 miles from my home!
Excited, I scheduled my first lesson two days later and met up with 20 other skaters at a community center for what would be my first ever official skate lesson.
Ok I know what you’re thinking? Did I fall? Was I the oldest newbie skater? Did I go back? No, No and Yes I did. The instructor, Kenney Rollo Davis, is a skating instructor, performer, coach and fitness trainer. He has over 30 years of experience and was super patient with me on my first day. I started out doing what he calls the Frankenstein walk. While everyone around me was skating backwards, dancing, and spinning in circles I was walking back and forth on skates with my knees bent and arms stretched out in front of me like Frankenstein. I wasn’t even rolling yet… just taking monster sized steps and walking back and forth. Now under normal circumstances I might have been embarrassed however there was one other person that was learning how to skate and she was 57! If she didn’t care about how ridiculous she looked, why should I? Eventually, we both ended our lesson learning how to skate back and forth. Nothing fancy, just the basics.
My first skating experience went extremely well. So well that I returned the following week sporting a brand new bag for my skates because, let’s face it – I’m like a semi pro at this point. After lacing up I moved on to my next lesson which was simply to review skating back and forth and then try a new move called, “Skating Bubbles”. This move required me to create a circle or lemon shape while skating in a straight line. At first glance, I was pretty sure this would be easy so I hit the ground running to try and learn it as quickly as possible. And then… it happened. I swear, I replay this moment in my mind over and over again. One minute I’m skating and the next minute everything is moving in slow motion and the room becomes silent. I remember feeling weightless and then seeing the bright lights overhead. That’s about the time I realized what was happening so naturally I knew what was coming next. My back slammed against the concrete so hard I bounced back up like a pop tart. I looked around to see if anyone noticed me fall and to my surprise, several people did notice but continued on with what they were doing. I was left to help myself up and dust myself off. And that’s exactly what would have happened if I was learning how to skate as a kid I suppose.
After down playing my fall I continued to skate for about another hour before I called it quits for the night. As my body started to relax during my short ride home I finally began to feel the effects of my spill just an hour ago. All sorts of thoughts flooded my mind. Will I need an x-ray? Should I pick up some Icy Hot? I’m definitely going to need an epsom salt bath. Do we still have those ice packs? You know, things you think about when you realized your bones don’t heal as quickly as they used to. As I hobbled my bruised but not broken body home I immediately grabbed an ice pack from the freezer for my hand which was throbbing uncontrollably. I’m assuming I probably tried to break my fall with it. I then popped a few tablets of ibuprofen because let’s face it… I’m no spring chicken and if I want to be able to sit up in the morning I’m going to need these meds! Lucky for me, I had a chiropractor appointment the next day so whatever slipped out of place would be promptly corrected in the morning.
All in all, learning to skate isn’t easy but I can honestly say that I’m enjoying the journey. If there’s something you didn’t learn to do while you were a kid I want to encourage you to learn it this year. Doesn’t matter if it’s skating, riding a bike, playing basketball, playing the piano, etc. If you missed out on learning years ago, chances are there’s an adult class created somewhere with you in mind. A quick google search just might lead you to your new favorite pastime.
If you do happen to try something new, I want to hear about it! Leave me a comment so I can celebrate your new beginnings.