Thursday, August 19, 2010

Derby Chronicles ...The Skate-less Sensation

It is official: I need my own skates like yesterday! The rentals available at the skating rink are just not cutting it anymore. They are subpar and limiting my roller derby success. I can't be bothered! Interesting how all of this is coming from a person who couldn't skate about a month ago.

Once upon a time, well actually just last week, I thought rentals were sufficient. I knew I needed to get my own skates. My theory was I needed to learn how to actually skate first before dropping a stack on the official gear. Sure several Alachua County Rollers mentioned how craptastic the rentals are, but I didn't really understand. Then I tried on the real deal.

My new play cousin, Gabby ­– deemed so because this Roll Bouncesque skater man thought we were related – and I went skating Wednesday night. The night started off with me slowly easing into my grandma skating. I always have to warm up, for at least five hours, before I feel semi-comfortable on skates. Mainly it's because there is an epic battle between the rentals and my body. Right now I think the rentals are winning. Fellow Hunny Nikki Tikki Tavi was already out skating and looking like poetry in motion. She saw my struggles and came over with several pointers. It helped, but one can only do so much with faulty equipment. So she let me to try on her skates. According to the ACR website she wears Riedell 265 boots.

I was scared to death to put them on. What if I broke them? What if they broke me? Why am I broke? At first a new epic struggle began with getting my foot into the skates. I have big, fat feet because I am the Queen of Stompingham. My father used to say if I kept walking around barefoot I would get big feet. Maybe I should have listened. We finally squeeze my feet into the skates without cutting them off. Nikki had me take a lap around the rink in them. It was like a whole new world opened up. My skating skills are still fairly non-existent, but for once I didn't have to struggle with the floor. And I was going fast; faster than ever. I didn't even fall. It was as if the skates had a mind of their own and were leading me around the rink. The skates were so smooth that I began to floating on wheels. I became a skating angel (one without wings or a halo, but I'm working on it).

When I took the Riedell's off and switched to the rentals, it was back to reality. Oh what a harsh world it is with rentals. I proceeded to try to go slightly as fast as before. It was not happening. Before long, I was taking several nasty falls. The rink staff came to check on me not once, but twice, after two particular falls. Then Roll Bounce dude came to help me up after one tumble. Finally my play cousin became concerned following another fall. I was fine after each fall. The only thing I hurt the entire night was my pride.

I am too through with rentals, well at least until I get paid next month. Or I could speed the process up if people wanted to donate to the Toni Needs Skates Foundation. We are a for-profit organization that exists for one purpose, to get me skates. Sure it's not tax deductible, but you will have helped save a life, namely mine.

P.S. check out the Alachua County Rollers at

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