Laces & Wheels

The world of roller skating

Remembering My First Pair of Roller Skates

skates-conventionalWow…I got my first pair of roller skates 36 years ago! I was 7 years old and in the first grade. Until then, I had skated in the tan, extremely worn and weathered leather orange-wheeled rental skates that everybody is familiar with. If you wore the rental skates that everyone’s funky feet had been in — even though they sprayed disinfectant into each skate boot after each wearer (at least you hoped that was the case!) — you were not as cool as the other kids who had their own personal skates.

When it was time for me to get my own personal pair of roller skates. I knew I was going to by pass the Fisher Price adjustable lockable slide on quads with the plastic wheels. In my eyes I had become pretty seasoned at the ripe old age of of 7. LOL!! My parents purchased a pair of white vinyl classic cheerleader-style Chicago Girls Rink roller skates. They had dark blue urethane wheels and a big toe stopper on the front of the skate (that I politely removed). When I got my “first” pair of skates, it was similar to getting a new pair of tennis shoes. I was extremely careful not to scuff or get them dirty. After every skating session I would wipe my white vinyl skate boot off. I remember my mom would look at me in such an endearing way. I now know that she thought I was exhibiting some OCD qualities, but she also knew her child’s personality and she never attempted to stop me from doing it, and I appreciate her for that.

My first pair of skates made me feel like one of the older kids. As I began to become more comfortable with my skating style and started going skating with my teenage cousins, Lynne and Carlos, and their friends, I felt the age gap close. I was one of them. I was a little elementary school girl, going roller skating with her ultra cool high school age cousins! Boy, did I feel special and in my own small world I felt like I had arrived!

Tam_skates_RiedellAs I write this blog entry today, I’m currently 43 years old and I’m on my 3rd pair of roller skates. They’re black leather Riedell Artistic roller skates with creme Radar Artistic/Rhythm roller skate wheels. I’m still as adamant about the care of my my skates as I was 36 years ago. I don’t have to worry so much about wiping and keeping my skate boot clean; it’s black and the dirt doesn’t show up as nearly as fast. But, I must admit that I vigilantly keep an eye on my creme Radar Artistic wheels after every skate session to determine if I need to wipe and clean my wheels off from the dust and dirt I picked up from the skating rink floor. I know for some this sounds a bit OCD, but this is what I do. These black Riedell’s will stay with me until I transition and leave this realm of life. If anything I’ll go through a few pairs of new Artistic wheels before it’s all said and done. My skate boots are broken in like a good pair of leather gloves and just like wine, they keep getting better with time!

Many of us remember some of our firsts: first day of school, kiss, date, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. But, do you remember your first pair of roller skates? Well, I definitely do and I remember the wonderful and fun times I had while on my skates. I continue to create new and fun experiences on my current pair of roller skates. Who says the fun has to stop? I challenge you to dust off your skates or go out and purchase a new pair of roller skates (or inline skates if that’s your thing… I won’t hold it against you!). Start creating new memories. It felt good then and it will feel good now…roll bounce, baby!

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