Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rollerblading with Aurora

On Sunday we all went for a walk on the St. Marks trail. Anne and Stanley joined us. Aurora and I brought our roller blades. Aurora had only had one thirty-minute blading session, so this was more-or-less her first real go on them.
She picked it up really well. At first she tried what I imagine most kids her age try, which is walking like normal. Over time she start picking up pushing her herself but wasn't quite getting it. At one point I showed her how I could go really fast, and she must have paid attention to how I was moving my legs, because when I got back she started doing it right. She would put on foot out, slightly slanted, and then push and then bring the next leg forward and do the same.
Her being so small and skinny, with those big skates on was quite a sight to see. She was really in to it though. She was determined to learn it. When she is determined to learn something she will pick it up pretty fast.
Sunday night she asked if we could do it again on Monday, after school. So yesterday I put our rollerblades and helmets in the back of the truck and picked her up from Creative Child after work.
She did really good on Monday. The first time she fell she got her palms scraped up a little bit, but every other time she fell she was very careful about trying to fall in the grass, or land on her bottom.
We went all the way down to the first stop sign, which is over 1/4 mile and then came back. This whole trip probably took us about an hour. Once back to where we parked we roller bladed around that area for another thirty minutes. While she went at her own pace, I took the oppurtunity to practice abrupt stopping. I'm a slow stopped, only able to use the back break on my right skate, which isn't very effective. I practiced getting going at a slow pace and then jumping and landing with my feet perpendicular to the direction I was going. I think I was doing pretty good at it. Abrupt stops really throw off my balance, and that is something I will have to work on.
I also gave a first-shot at going backwards, but I couldn't even figure out how to move my feet in a way to make myself move backwards. The best I could do was set myself up on an incline so that gravity simply pushed me backwards, but I was unable to find a good way to push to make myself go faster. Hopefully, once I can confidently stop abruptly, I can start trying to get going forward, and then jump backwards.