In Part One of this series, we all awakened our memories about the first time we put wheels under our feet. It didn’t matter if they were Quad Skates, Roller Boards, Inline Skates, or Clip on Skates, for that matter. After attempting to jog your memories, I began telling you about my early memories, and how very long ago that was. I told you about getting my first pair of skates and learning to skate backwards. In this part of the series, I am going to expand from where I left off. Giving you some insight into the experience and how it enhanced my life.
So far, the journey was only a few months old. But as the days passed, I built up my confidence on skates and continued to want to learn more and improve upon my skills. I had always considered myself somewhat of an introvert, keeping to myself, and doing my own thing. But as time passed, and my confidence built, I began making new friends at the rink. I was among people that had the same interests as I did, and that seemed to help me break down the barriers of shyness. As my circle of friends grew, so did my skating skills. We all worked at teaching each other different skills or tricks that we had learned. From pairs skating, to side skating with our heels pointing at each other and our toes pointing in opposite directions, to balanced skating on the back two wheels of a single skate. We tried it all.
By now I was spending many hours a week at the rink, expanding on my skills, and yes, probably thinking I was showing off a bit. This went on for a few more months and the next thing I knew, I was asked if I would like to work at the rink as a Floor Guard. Boy, did my head swell! I was so excited that the then managers felt I skated well enough to work for them. You would have thought I had just won a million dollars! And in a way I did. It was all about self-esteem.
The next week I started my new job. To think, I was getting paid to skate. Of course, my responsibilities involved a bit more than just skating. They involved entertaining the skaters, teaching the skaters, maintaining the safety of the skaters, and running the music. With so much to focus on, the time flew by. There was always a skater that had fallen and that needed protection, then there was needing to make my way through the crowd to change the music and announce a new special, and of course there was always the opportunity of helping a new skater with the duck waddle steps, so they could learn how to keep their balance. All in the name of fun.
This activity went on for many years, through multiple owners/managers, and even through multiple skating rinks (two to be exact). However, there was the time I was offered a job in a rink about 60 miles away from where I lived. But there was no way the pay and the travel could make that opportunity worthwhile. It just wasn’t to be.
Along the way there were periods of time that I took a break from working and simply just skated. Sometimes at a pace of around 40 hours per week. And that was on top of my full-time job. I was obsessed with skating.
Eventually, I started working at the front window admitting people into the rink. That eventually led to becoming a Manager.
In the next part of this series I’ll be talking about the later years. What happens when you try to part ways with something you have loved doing for so many wonderful years. What do you do with yourself? What are your options? Was it worth it?
Till the next time ….