Usually, I consider myself a pretty good skater. I grew up on the ice and spent a fair number of Saturday’s wheeling around the neighbourhood on a pair of inline rollerblades. So, finding myself wobbling around the rink, clutching at the sideboards, was a new experience for me.
A couple weeks ago, Andreas and I persuaded the grandparents to babysit our wee one (doesn’t take much to persuade them) and headed out on a date. We try to make date night a monthly occurrence and are always looking for fun, new ideas. That’s why I was so excited when we were given a Groupon for Christmas: two passes for an evening of rollerskating at Central City Arena in Surrey.
The public skate at the Surrey arena is on Saturday’s from 8pm until 10pm. We arrived a few minutes early and began lacing up our fluorescent orange and green skates. (I quickly remembered just how uncomfortable rental skates can be!) Precisely at 8, the T-Swift began blasting and a dazzling array of coloured lasers flooded the arena.
Our first goal of the evening was to stand up without taking a nose-dive into the bleachers. Mission accomplished. Barely.
As Andreas and I wobbled our way out onto the floor, we tried in vain to act as if we were in complete control of our helplessly flailing limbs. I envisioned the date ending with a massive pileup of sweaty teenagers and a squished Liz, face-planted at the bottom of the heap. Hmm, how do I change Alistair’s diaper if I break my arm?
With each passing lap, my confidence slowly increased and I began feeling fairly comfortable while cruising around on these new wheels. (That is, of course, until I’d glance over at my windmilling husband, who somehow managed to have me terrified and in a fit of giggles at the same time!)
If you’ve never roller skated with quad wheels, it’s definitely worth a try. The experience and technique is completely different from ice skating or rollerblading with inlines. Those of us born after the 1980’s (when inline blades became popular) were a little less confident and a lot more hilarious on our skates. Nope… not even going to try a crossover.
While I may have gotten more comfortable, I was still no where near competent and my inner ice skater was clearly frustrated by my apparent lack of elegance. (Am I seriously being out-skated by a three year old right now?) I stood in complete awe of the derby girls who were skating around at high speeds, dodging the rest of us amateurs and showing off with some cool tricks. I was impressed enough that I actually googled “How to become a Roller Derby Girl” – only to quickly realize that I’m very much a wimp and should just go watch a derby game instead. Andreas, next date night?
Our date was free (thanks to a Christmas present from the lovely Miss Terry) but otherwise, Surrey’s Central City Arena charges $7 for admission ($5 for kids under 12) and an extra $3 for the skates. And, as always, for even better deals, be sure to keep an eye out on Groupon!
The highlight of my evening? Giggling at my husband’s efforts to avoid connecting with the floor. Andreas seemed to constantly disappear in a blur of arms, legs, and a butt, flapping and waving in every which direction. Balance regained, he’d quickly turn his flails into some super sweet dance moves. Falling? No, I was dancing!
So, if you’re looking for an indoor activity and a fun way to get a little light exercise, consider checking out your local rollerskating rink. (Yes, our muscles were sore afterwards from all the floundering about… Don’t judge, we know we’re out of shape!) I’m also not the biggest fan of just skating around in circles but truthfully, without a bit more practice, I wouldn’t have been able do anything else on these skates – so rink skating was fine for me!
And word to the wise, when planning your next rollerskating date, don’t forget to bring your long socks! Ouch, my ankles!