Putting a woman who has given birth three times, the last time nearly splitting her in two, on roller skates probably isn’t the best idea. But that’s what I did this past weekend at my friend’s daughter’s birthday party.
My eight year-old was fine once she remembered what she’d tentatively learned at other parties, but my four and six year-olds needed assistance and my there was no way my husband was getting out there. The last time he skated was the ice variety and let’s say the ice nearly melted from the heat of pain-induced oaths he uttered. Plus, I enjoy skating. I loved it as a girl, forcing the wheels over the pebbly asphalt of my street, gliding along the multi-layered laquer of roller rinks. There was a freedom and euphoria in the way the wind pushed my hair back and the music thumped as I floated along. I thought I was the cat’s pajamas when I mastered cross-overs.
But that was when I was young and nimble; limber and loose.
The other day I used muscles I hadn’t used since childbirth – or at least since the physical therapy following childbirth to put me back together. Keeping my feet from drifting too far apart, I had to pull those adductor muscles to attention and, oh, that got my attention. I managed to haul my foot over for one cross-over before I felt the other one start to slide out. The thought of my pelvis in the aftermath if I ended up in a split on the floor was enough to dissuade me from trying any more. My groin muscles were already pulling; I didn’t want to strain any of their neighbors.
But, when one of my girls took a break, or refused to take my hand, I would speed up, feeling the familiar rush of air. My godson, brother of the birthday girl, took a shine to the disco ball at the center of the rink and kept gravitating toward it whether he had skates on or not. When his father went out to be sure he stayed in the center, out of the melee of circling skaters, an impromptu dance party popped up. His brother and sister, my girls, and husband sans skates, joined us and grooved to Daft Punk disco-style. It still had the same effect as my favorite Michael Jackson song way back when.
I don’t know if it’s the act of skating itself or the associations it engenders, but it’s a whole lot of fun. There’s no way I could last as long as I used to when I could feel myself rolling around the rink even after I’d taken off my skates. And I’m sure my body wouldn’t forgive me either if I tried. But as the birthday girl asked me as she rolled by, “How’s your skating going? Is it going good?”, I can say, “Yes, yes it is.”