Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You did What?

Okay, I admit, was a little stuck on today’s entry, so I goggled blog prompts and found this, Imagination Prompt Generator It asks questions to get your juices flowing, I think I went through 10 before I came upon “What have you done before that you will never do again?” This caught my unwavering attention for two reasons, 1) A woman and I were discussing this topic just the other day, and 2) If I have an excuse to make myself look silly, I'm going to take it dammit.

Please enter my time machine.
Ten years ago, I found myself single and looking for love in all the wrong places, or at least the wrong web sites. Also included in my search for the perfect mate I tried to get back into shape. Driving on the road for nine years, stopping at all the fast food places I could (they should be called FAT food) and being married with kids for 22 years had a measurable effect on my waist line.

During my search, I began talking to a woman that had rollerblades and actually used them, three times a week. A light went off in my head and I immediately wanted to try this.
Part of our gym class when I was in high school was roller skating and the only difference was the position of the wheels.

The next day, I stopped at a used sport store and bought a pair of inline skates, the salesman was kind enough to throw in a helmet, elbow and knee pads. He wanted to sell me a DVD on how to rollerblade, I declined because I watched this stuff when they had it on TV years ago.

That weekend, I contacted my newest conquest friend and asked them if they wished to meet me this Saturday down at a little cement trail the city had built just for this type of insanity.
She laughed, I went by myself.

Once parked in a nice safe spot, I changed into my inline skates; knee pads, elbow pads and the helmet that made me look like one of the aliens from that Sigourney Weaver movie.
I started out a little shaky, trying to keep my balance as I circled my car, using it for support. After I got the balance thing all good I started pushing away from the truck and eventually made it to the three foot wide cement path. The ground was nice and even, no cracks, just a smooth blacktop trial heading off into the distance. I began at a safe speed and eventually worked up to an almost faster speed when I realized that the people ahead of me were dropping off the edge of the world.

“Darn, a hill!” I think I used another word there. Once I reached the top of the hill my momentum carried me over the top and straight down. At this point in my life I really didn't want to watch it all over again so I turned into the grass and discovered how to stop safely. (The ground was very soft there.)

Once back on my feet I continued, by now I was soaking wet from sweating like a pig being led to slaughter. As I gained on a couple ahead of me, they were walking; I breathlessly asked them how long this track was.
"Six miles," he said, "you're about half way through it."
I think the shocked expression on my face scared them because they began to run, real fast. Just about then, I wished for a lasso.

I plowed on, my legs and back wondering if they lost communication with my brain because they were screaming in agony. I didn't even bother looking at my watch, but after what seemed like hours of torture, (imagine watching Jerseylicious) I saw the area where I parked my truck.

If my legs didn't feel so numb I would have started dancing.

As I began the last 100 yards of the journey an older woman, maybe in her late 50's slowed down and asked if I was okay. I told her I wasn’t sure because every part of my body was numb.
She told me to keep moving but start to slow down. I figured I wasn’t in hurry so why not.

Taking almost baby steps, I continued. Five minutes later a black SUV pulled up beside me, I thought for sure it was the government coming to arrest me for impersonating a physically fit inline skater. It was the woman that passed me a few minutes ago and she told me to get in.

My mom always told me not to get into a car with strangers, but my mom wasn’t here. I opened the door and hopped, err crawled inside, directing her to where my car was parked.

I thanked her as I fell out of her car, asking for her phone number on the way out. I was surprised I got it, but she told me to call her when I got the chance.

At least there was one positive note about my experience, and it wasn’t over yet. After I got home and staggered up the steps to my apartment, I collapsed on the bed. It was only 11am.

I woke the next morning, my body trying to remember how to walk. Muscles I didn't even know I had screamed out in unison that I really shouldn't move as I crawled into the bath tub to soak in a hot pool of water.

Two days later, most of the pain was gone and I decided to give it another try. But this time I played it a little smarter; I went to a local a park that had a one and a half mile trail. Once suited up, I pushed off and sailed down the first hill. As I rounded the top – I lost control (If I ever really had any at all) and ran right into the grass, tumbling about 20 feet.

I laid there for a second, testing my body to see if I broke anything, then looked around – good – no one saw me. I continued on the rest of the trail as my knee began bothering, but I assumed it was only old age. I did have one problem when I went down a very steep hill and saw a crowd of people standing at the bottom. I just yelled, “Move out of the way, I don’t know how to stop!” That emptied the trail very quickly.

When I managed to get back to my truck I sat on the tail gate and removed the skates and then the knee pads. That was when the pain hit me, like a ten pound sledge hammer hitting my knee over and over. I managed to hobble to the driver’s seat and thanked God that I didn’t have a manual transmission. The pain was in the right knee so I very carefully drove with my left foot. This took a little getting used to.

The next day, I wasn’t any better – it had swelled up three times its normal size so I had a friend take me to the doctors. It turned out I tore my meniscus in my knee. That required surgery and two weeks of recuperation.
I threw away the roller blades. I’m not touching those again, I wasn’t born with wheels on the soles of my feet, so I would I need to add them.

That’s mine, so tell me, what have you done before that you will never do again? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell a soul.)


  1. Scuba diving. I have always been a strong swimmer so, when on a caribbean vacation, my husband suggested scuba diving, I happily complied.

    I donned the vest, strapped on the tanks and weights and learned how to breath through a regulator. . .which all made sense until hit the water. Weights to pull me down? BREATH under water? I freaked out 3 feet down, sprang to the surface and waved good-bye to the group as I waited on the beach where it is normal and expected for one to breath.

    Never again.

  2. I remember those. My high school taught a class on scuba diving, never could get the hang of that thing in my mouth. I lasted just brra couple weeks in there. I also prefer the normal method of breathing on dry land, it just fits us better

  3. Ski. I was an avid skier when a teenager. Went back to it in my mid 20's. Well, it's not like riding a bike. But, I took my time and got my legs back. By the end of the weekend, I was exhausted. Instead of listening to my body, I went on one 'last' run [turned out to be my last]. I fell and ended up going down the hill in a sled towed by ski patrol dudes. They put a makeshift splint on my knee. Had to have someone drive my car home then have my roommate take me to the ER. I sprained my knee but good. I was supposed to go to Utah on a ski trip in 2 weeks. Never made it. It was supposed to be my first trip west of the Mississippi, so I was very disappointed. Didn't know then I'd be calling the west coast home in a few years. Still, I never went skiing again.

  4. I have never tried that, and I don't think my wife would even let me at this point.