Jesse Tise

When a friend invited me to their roller skating birthday party, I had no idea I’d been invited to work out harder than I had in years. Don’t get me wrong: My shot glass muscles are hella swoll and my glutes unmatched, but I felt a distinct burn extend from the soles of my feet all the way up to my groin the moment plastic wheels met wooden floor. How had I never used these muscles?

Upon arrival, I was informed I had agreed to a funky fresh ’90s-themed party, granting us a chance to do “The Hump,” as well as inducing my normal concern that I may have dressed inappropriately. Then I remembered that, unlike most in attendance, I had a clear memory of the ’90s, and didn’t know how to dress then either. So whatever random shit I had thrown on was probably accurate.

Before skating, we had to agree to certain rules, which included no hats. It was explained that hats present a safety hazard, because should a hat fall off, it could morph into trip wire, taking out countless skaters. At least that’s how I remember it being explained. Regardless, odds were far greater that I would fall on the floor, presenting a more significant hazard. When I explained my superior reasoning, I was told people possess the agency to move, which struck me as flawed logic overflowing with hubris. What would lead anyone to think that, having gotten my ass kicked by roller skates, I would stand back up and continue attempting to circumambulate on the very wheels that had just shamed me?

Sensing my discomfort, an experienced skater explained proper defensive posture. First, if your balance has been compromised, bend your knees, adopting a sitting or squatting position. Some say this posture will help you regain balance and control. Personally, I believe it places you closer to the ground, reducing the pain incurred from falling on your ass compared to standing perfectly erect, flailing your arms in the air. Next, having inevitably failed to regain your balance, you should bring your knees towards your chest, cover your head with your arms, and shit your pants while screaming, “I’VE FALLEN! SOMEONE SAVE ME!” as innumerable wheels race toward your soft, fatty tissue.

We joyously disregarded the “no outside food” rule, bringing our own cornucopia of cupcakes in fudge, chocolate with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake, and raspberry cream. We then doubled down by disregarding the “no fire” rule and quickly lit and blew out the birthday candles while singing “Happy Birthday” to the beat of “Jump Around.”

To my surprise, not only did I not break myself, but I ultimately had a fantastic time and have taken up roller skating as part of my regular (i.e. when I feel like it) fitness routine, having seen that everyone’s just a little more beautiful on roller skates. Ten points out of 10 duly earned.

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