Who said roller blading was easy? Oh. No one did.
I went to Decathlon yesterday and bought myself a pair. Decathlon is a great day out.
I also bought a helmet.
In the evening I watched a few skating tutorials on youtube.
Today, at about 2pm, I rolled out of my house onto the drive and realised that my inability to brake was a hazard rather than just a hindrance so I put my trainers back on and walked to the park, blades (aka INLINERS!) and helmet in hand.
Nearly everyone I saw in the park spoke to me.
One old guy, walking with a woman, probably his wife, shouted at me, ‘Good thing you’re wearing a crash helmet!’ I made a sound in agreement and tapped my helmet with my knuckles, thinking as I did so that too much tapping is not good for the health of my helmet.
Another guy who was running and walking round and round the park (there’s one big circular path) but not really wearing running clothes eventually stopped to talk to me.
‘How long have you had those for?’
‘About eight years ago I bought a pair and went to the car park in Sydenham and after about twenty-minutes I decided I wasn’t going to improve without mortal injury so I haven’t touched them since.’
‘The reason I say is that you haven’t got much protection. You should get some plastic hand protectors for when you fall on your hands. There’ll be loads of people like me who are selling them on ebay. Not that mine are actually on ebay.’
‘Okay, yeah I might.’
Then after about half an hour of shuffling up and down I put my shoes back on.
Another guy who had been the whole time sat on a bench, got onto his bike to leave the park. We met by chance at the exit.
‘Did you know that guy who you were just talking to?’
‘Because you shouldn’t talk to people you don’t know in parks.’
Ah, okay, I think it was probably fine.’
‘I was watching him and he kept going round and round and looking at you at every opportunity and I thought, that’s bizarre, so I took a photo of him just in case something happened. Then when he spoke to you I thought maybe he was your Dad.’
‘No, he’s not my Dad, but I think he’s fine, I was also aware he was looking at me and…’
‘You see he was looking at you and I thought, that’s bizarre, so I just wanted to make sure. You shouldn’t talk to strangers, especially in the park.’
‘I’m talking to you.’
‘Yes, but I’m aware of the situation, I was aware something might be wrong.’
‘Okay, thanks for looking out for me.’
Then the first old guy shouted at me from his bench.
‘You given up then?’
‘No, same time tomorrow!’
Another great day out.