“Don’t forget your skates,” mum finished tying her shoes laces and straightened.
“They’re the most important part of this trip,” Wendy slipped the phone into her mother’s hand before picking up a skate in each hand. “You sure you’re good with coming and watching me skate?”
“Of course, someone has to be there to pick you up if you fall.”
The two women left the house and began the hike to the cycleway. Inside Wendy’s stomach, lunch wasn’t sitting still. She moved faster. Just get on with it, everything will be fine once you start, don’t think about the problems of outdoor skating.
The concrete path looked scary. It curved, had rough patches and gaps, and sticks everywhere. Wendy swallowed hard.
“This has to be one of your craziest ideas, darling.” Mum eyed her daughter. “Are you positive this is what you want to do?”
Be brave. “If I want to skate outside of the lounge room, then I need to learn to handle the unexpected.” Her knees felt weak.
It’s going to hurt ten times more than on a floating timbre floor when I fall. Will my pads protect me?
She slipped out of the flats and began the job of lacing up skates and tightening her pads. The last on were her wrist guards. Her fingers stuck out, unprotected. Please don’t break those.
Awkwardly, she got up with all four wheels on the ground. The natural gradient made her slip back slightly. She moved her feet together into a T, her heel of her right into the middle of her left.
Am I going to be able to do this?
“Do you know what you’re doing?”
Wendy bobbed her head. “I’ve been watching the tutorials on youtube. Stager stance, knees bent, quickly lift feet to get over hazards, and move fast.” She swallowed.
They stood still.
“Are you going to do all of that?”
“Getting to it.” Wendy nodded. “Just mentally preparing myself. Outdoors feels different to indoors.” Come on. Finding some courage, she changed her position of feet so one was forward and lowered herself into a squat.
The slight gradient was encouraging her to move, roll along the surface with it, kidnapping her with the aid of her wheels. Hesitating, Wendy propelled herself with a stroke and then another and another, picking up speed. The squishy wheels absorbed the gaps in the concrete to a degree, she steered herself to the sections that didn’t look like they would trip her on purpose.
“Get lower,” mum said from behind.
“Derby stance!” Wendy hollered back.
Wendy’s stomach threatened to empty itself. I need to stop. Argh, can’t do anything fancy and stop on a dime. I’m going to have to snow plow. She pushed all of her weight into her feet and pointed her toes inwards. Please stop before the gap, please stop… She sighed audibly.
“Are you sure you want me to film?” Mum asked.
Wendy stepped around. “Yep. Aunt June has been bugging me for more photos and videos to add to her collection.” She might’ve rolled her eyes, but it made her feel special.
Mum lifted the phone. “Okay then, skate at me.”