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Aging: part one

When I was a child, no physical activity brought me more delight than inline skating. I had a wonderful pair of skates; silver, neon pink, and teal, snuggly fitting my feet. I felt limitless on those wheels, cruising all around the neighborhood, learning tricks in the grocery store parking lot, and distance skating past farms and fields.

For the past five years, I’ve been telling myself that I should get a new pair of skates. There’s a skate store around the block from my house, and whenever I’d pass it, I’d find myself right back in the best part of my childhood. For five years, though, I never got around to actually buying them.

Until Covid.

Much like what seems everyone in Amsterdam and their grandmother, I’ve finally purchased a nice pair of skates. I got FR freeskates with three 110mm wheels as well as the protection gear I was always too cool to wear as a child. And when I say “everyone and their grandmother”, I mean enough people to keep me waiting for those skates for two weeks.

As a person who appreciates the (near-)instant gratification of next-day-delivery, waiting two weeks for a purchase to arrive seemed like an eternity.

Here’s what I did with that eternity:

  • Watched at least ten hours of freeskating flow videos
  • Contemplated whether I should cancel my order and find less amazing skates that would arrive sooner
  • Reminisce about how awesome skating felt when I was a child

It was probably due to all this reminiscing that the concept of skating turned into an activity that you can’t unlearn, much like biking. My body remembered all the slides I could do, and the countless ways to stop. I figured I’d be able to take my skates out to the park within the first week or so.

Then they arrived.

Yesterday, twenty years afer I last skated, I unboxed and attempted to get into the skates. It took 30 minutes to figure out how to unlock the cuffs alone. Then it took ten minutes per skate to get the things on my feet. I’ve been awkwardly rolling around the living room ever since, grabbing onto chairs and door frames, unsure of which muscles I need to keep from falling and breaking off my front teeth.

I’m nowhere near old enough to complain about aging or being too old for shit, but at 33, I’m slowly embracing the concept of micro-aging. From time to time, I will meet something that confirms that my body, my mind, and my experiences have changed drastically from what they were when I was a child. From time to time, something will remind me that I’m no longer 17, and right now, skating is it.

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