I was exhausted yesterday. Black Wednesday came and went, and it was a horrible freaking day. I had stayed up into the wee hours curled up in a blanket on the couch, watching Season Two of Dexter. I knew I wasn’t going to get much sleep, and I preferred to wake up to the alarm after four hours than staring at a dark ceiling at 2am. Work was fine — I even forgot I was tired until someone inevitably asked me if I was okay. But I was not missing skating.
Oh, no. Even if all I did was sit on the side of the rink and read Watchmen, I wasn’t letting Kitti and Jenny down. Plus…HELLO…there were new only-worn-once skates in the back of my car begging to be broken in! The purple wheels were calling my name (or that might have been a hallucination…I was too tired to know the difference).
As always, I left the house late and got to the rink early. (How does that always happen?) I paid my $5 and laced up, skated once around, relaced, did it again, and waited for Kitti and Jenny (who was working late again) to arrive. Especially Jenny — she’s been so swamped with stuff, I haven’t seen much of her around the office. We had a lot to catch up on. Kitti and I skated together for a bit, and when Jenny got on the floor, I cut across and went over to talk to her. Skategossip.
We talked for almost an hour.
It’s true — exercising goes by much faster when you’re all caught up in conversation with someone. It also forces you to not overdo it, because you still need enough oxygen for the verbal diarrhea. We shared jokes and outrage and secrets — I must say, the skating rink is a great place to talk in plain sight with no one overhearing. The music is SO loud…the guys in the van outside aren’t going to get squat out of the bug they planted in my hairband. And that’s just the way I needed it.
Which is a little ridiculous…I’m an author and a book buyer. I’m not friggin’ James Bond. But I have to employ some of the same tactics. (It’s not paranoia if they’re actually watching you.) You know, I’d like to see Bond on wheels whispering skategossip into a willowy young thing’s ear.
My leg was aching, my right foot was killing me, and I was starting to skate like crap, so I called a time-out. That’s when I realized it was 7:45, and we’d been at it for almost an hour straight. That’s as long as I work out at the gym on any regular given day, and i had never skated so long without a break before. Yay, me! So, I took off the skates, read a ilttle of Watchmen, and watched this week’s superstars on the floor.
And boy, were they superstars. One guy was spinning around ilke a top in the center circle, teaching three other girls exactly how he did it. (Those three other girls had some skillz already…I considered it a more advanced class. One day I’ll be that good.) Another guy — oh, he blew ua all away. His sates weren’t even laced up — the tongues were hanging out, and they looked at any moment like they would fall off his feet. In fact, he went around one lap woth one shoe off. I wondered what he was doing…until he crouched down, put the loose shoe UNDER HIS BUTT, stretched the free leg out, put his hands behind his head, and reclined almost perfectly horizontal as he went around. (I tried to take a picture. It was way too dark.)
No fear. No hesitation. No rules inside the box. He was all strength and ease.
One day I’ll be that good.