“Meet me at the elevators,” Sung’s instant message read on my computer screen. He had promised to take me out to the office parking lot to show me some of the basics on my new wheels. It was kind of a sketchy way of telling me he was ready, since he literally sits two feet away and could have easily used his indoor voice to get my attention. Regardless, I treated it like a covert operation … even though office hours were already over.
He left before me skates in hand, and I followed a few minutes after. Neither of us saying much to our fellow coworkers.
After taking the elevator down from our office, we stepped into the intense humidity, thanks to the recent tropical storms Gil and Henriette, we meandered over to some parking blocks and strapped on our skates.
Though the skates are light, they feel heavy and cumbersome on my wobbly legs. Sung tells me to tie them comfortably – not too tight, but not too loose. “You don’t want to break your ankle.” No I do not!
Taking the first few pushes felt like gliding on a cloud. The parking lot has a few cars but I’m in control enough to avoid them … thank goodness.
The first things sung teaches me are about the different parts of the skate and where I’ll want to plant them when I go for a grind.
Next he tries to determine which is my dominant foot when I push off and turn around. “Since you’re right handed, it’s probably going to be your left foot.” He’s right. I never really thought about it until that moment. I have a dominant foot, and it’s my left. I’m finding new stuff out about myself already that until this moment had never thought twice on. Amazing.
After doing a few plants on the block and a set of nearby stairs, we both agreed my first trick to master is probably going to be a soul grind – where you form a kind of “t” with your skates. It looks something like this:
After a few minutes, I’m able to hop on the steps and plant my feet where they need to be, but I’m still a little scared to try the trick in motion. I try a few passes along the block just grinding my dominant foot along the edge to get a feel, but still can’t commit enough weight to feel comfotable trying the trick.
Sweaty, and feeling pretty good about what I’ve learned so far, we called it a day. But I’m determined to get this trick down before then end of the week.
Stay tunes to see if I land it … or land in the hospital.