I still remember my first pair of roller skates. They were yellow and blue plastic Fisher Price adjustable skates that velcroed on over my shoes. They weren’t exactly designed for speed. In fact, the orange plastic wheels hardly seemed to move without a considerable amount of effort. The only time I ever really got the things going was when I put the leash on our black lab, Cricket, and let her out of her pen, thinking it would be fun to have her pull me down the street. We barely made it to the end of the block before I tripped and fell. Cricket ran another 30 yards, dragging me along behind and erasing the skin from both my knees.

I upgraded eventually to a pair of rollerblades. My first pair were awful (though at the time I thought I was hot stuff rolling around the streets of Bird City, Kansas in them). They were standard black with fluorescent yellow laces, and no matter how hard I tried, I could never seem to get them cinched up tight enough. I never wore a helmet or any other sort of protective gear, and it’s a wonder I didn’t break my ankles trying to do tricks and land jumps off curbs.

When my family moved to Holdrege, Nebraska, I had my first experience with a roller skating rink. So…it was really just a bunch of kids skating in circles beneath a disco ball to thumpin’ Top 40 Hits at the City Auditorium, but it was all we had. It was one of those crazy, middle school mating rituals, much like the traditional school dances. The boys and girls would separate themselves into two distinct groups, and then slowly begin to mingle in the middle of the floor. Mostly, we just tried not the crash into anything or do a faceplant and embarass ourselves in front of our classmates. I can’t say I ever really got into the whole skating rink thing. I much preferred to be roller blading in the fresh air and sunshine, than to be skating in circles on a crowded gymnasium floor.

I upgraded again to a newer pair of roller blades that actually had good solid latches. I put a lot of miles on those blades, especially in college when Steven and I used to go on roller blading “pseudo-dates” around Bronxville, back when I had a big ol’ crush on the boy…funny how things turn out, isn’t it?

Out running a few errands, Steven and I pulled up to a stoplight at the corner of South and 48th, and were surprised to see the sign for the National Museum of Roller Skating. I was immediately intrigued, and I’m hoping we can make a visit one day soon. Even better, I found out that Lincoln hosts several USA Roller Sports events throughout the year–from figure skating and speed skating to rink hockey and roller derby. Oh, I am so there!!!

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to our favorite roller sports. Strap some wheels to your feet and the fun never stops.

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