Introvert’s Guide to Skate Night

Have you ever experienced a middle school skate night? A whole bunch of hyperactive demi-teens zooming around a polished wood oval on wheels.

So what if the six-foot giant is the only one who can’t skate? 

With no center of gravity and a lack of spatial awareness, I’ve always been quite bad at tasks that involve balance. Despite this, every time I go to a skating rink you better bet that I’ll be renting those wheels and strapping in for the entire night!

Staff night with my coworkers was no exception.

It had been a while since I skated, and my brain was incredibly confident, assuring me that I could totally skate. I’m an adult now, and a different person from when I was younger.

My body, incredibly confident, scoffed.

Not only was I incapable of moving forward, I was actively rolling backwards whenever I tried the proper stance. All of my friends were lapping me, and it took me half-an-hour just to get around the rink once.

Even this five-year old began to lap me, and give me this sad little side-eye every time she passed by.

People kept trying to teach me. The expert among us tried to move me for about five minutes but gave up when the backwards rolling began. The rink-security man kept skating up to me and telling me to move like a penguin. 

I responded with “if I knew what the h-e double hockey sticks that meant, don’t you think I would be doing it?!”

At one point, I figured out this weird little pattern where I would use the rubber stopper to propel myself forward on one skate, but every time I did it, I would screech.

Stop, push, screech!
Stop, push, screech!

Similar to a certain destructive Japanese lizard, people would hear my high-pitched cry and rush to get out of the way.

To make matters even worse than they already were, these two fully grown men were whipping around and around and around the rink. Bumping people, skating right in the middle of couples, just generally being belligerent jerks. They were really good skaters though, which made it all the more annoying. 

But as awful as there were, I will always be superior to them. 

Yeah, you may be rude and get some sick sort of enjoyment from bullying hormonal teens, but I bet you’ve never experienced the power that comes from being such a hazard that an entire middle school feared you, and donated funds to purchase a child safety PVC pipe walker for you.

Those who can, skate.

Those who can’t, become the human equivalent of Godzilla.

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