I Did The Thing. I Bought The Skates.

Posted by SkaterDee on August 18, 2017

Remember those Powerslide Swell 100s I wanted? Turns out, I was able to afford them sooner rather than later.

Basically, I was able to skip lunch, cut out a few other extravagances, and pulled a few extra shifts at work. Lo and behold, when payday came around, I had more than enough to cover the cost of the skates.

SkatePro.com had a price I liked, so I went with them. I just hope I got the size correct. I wear a size 9 (US. 42 EUR), but the smallest size I could find was 43. Then again, that's a women's 43, which is around 10 1/2 inches or so. ( I don't remember...)

The process of figuring this out took hours, and that fact that I'm still not sure which size was correct is evidence of how anxious I am that I might have to return them and hope I can get a smaller (or bigger, because I still don't know) size.

I just really wish I could have tried them on, first... I already hate that I have to wait for them to arrive; the thought of sending them back and compounding the wait time is driving me crazy! Why can't we just have a decent skate shop around here?? Ugh...

I Wear My Roller Blades At Night...

Posted by SkaterDee on August 16, 2017

There's no doubt that skating at night can be pretty dangerous. For one thing, it's harder to see obstacles and hazards on the road. But even tripping over the occasional stick isn't even as bad as it used to be, for me. No... I have worse things to worry about.

Don't let the fact that I haven't posted much lately fool you; I'm still skating almost every day. I just haven't been filming due to the backlog of videos I still need to edit and upload. Also, Andrea and I tend to go out later in the evening, after the skin-searing sun has gone down and the temperature has dropped, making it more difficult to get quality footage. For these reasons, it's going to be a little while before more content is released. However, in light of recent events, I'm thinking it might be better to go out when it's still light out.

So, what's going on? What's wrong with skating at night?

Well, nothing is inherently wrong with it... As I said, it's cooler after dark, there's less traffic on the streets, and there are fewer people around. But oh, ho ho... The people who are around after dark is the problem.

Catcalls are one thing; I can take a few lewd comments and come-ons, but it's the tendency for dude-bros and other unsavory types to scream out things like, "Hey, bitch!" as I'm skating past them that really makes me want to consider taking a taser, or pepper spray, along with me, should I decide to continue these nocturnal affairs. Men, in general, have been really testing my patience, lately, but this is just scary.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking. "She's just being paranoid!" Or, "What's she doing, going out after dark? She's just asking for it!"

Right, right... Obviously, it's not cool for a grown-ass woman to get some exercise at 9 o'clock at night. Obviously, I deserve to be raped for being out there in knee-length shorts and a t-shirt. I'm the problem, here, of course. Except that, just a few days ago, a woman was raped at knifepoint in broad daylight over on Carey Avenue. And I don't live very far from there. And even now, I'm thinking, "I'm putting out too much information. I need to be more careful," when the thing I should be thinking, is, "Why do so many scum bags think it's cool to rape?"

It fucking blows my mind to think that I'm at fault for expecting grown-ass men to practice some self-control and keep their damn hands to themselves, but that's the world we live in. Where all kinds of bullshit fuckery is going on, these days, maybe I shouldn't go skating alone after dark, anymore. Or, maybe I should pack something a little stronger than mace; something that really gets the point across. Something like a rocket launcher, or M-16.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Skate Wheels)

Posted by SkaterDee on August 9, 2017

I've grown up around skateboarding my whole life. From the mid to late 80s on, skateboards, skaters, and skating culture have, pretty much, been a constant -- TV, movies, video games, etc. Skateboarding was everywhere. Even among my friends, my friend in elementary school had older brothers who built a half-pipe with a 20-foot drop in their backyard. The thing was massive! And I remember watching them for hours on end. The only thing I don't remember seeing -- at least, with any kind of regularity -- was girls riding skateboards.

I mean, I'm sure I've seen a few faces, here and there. I know I've seen movies and TV shows with women who are good at skateboarding, I've just never really seen it too often in real life. Until recently, that is.

Of course, long boarding is what's "in," these days. I see girls riding long boards along the riverfront, pretty often. And sometimes 2 or 3 girls riding along. Sometimes I'll notice them doing a few tricks on shorter boards, and it really just makes me happy to see.

I admit, seeing girls riding long boards had me interested in trying one, myself. And that's how it works -- visibility, representation, etc. If you see someone like you doing something, you believe it's something that you can do, too. And by making our passions more inclusive, more people will want to try them. That's how they spread, and grow.

Unfortunately, I'm just no damn good at the thing. I was barely proficient with a regular sized board. Despite riding it everywhere for several years, I could never get the thing to ollie. I just completely sucked at it. I tried to do grinds, tried to do other things... Nothing. I couldn't ride the thing to save my life. So, it was always back to roller skates/roller blades, for me. And that's fine. I enjoy blading more than skating, anyway. ...less kicking, involved. And less pressure to do tricks. Not that I'm any good at doing tricks on skates -- I kinda just go fast and try not to fall. I can hop curbs, and I can slow myself to a stop. That's kind of all you need. (Although, I'm still working on that powerslide. Maybe one of these days...)

New Kicks? Someday?

Posted by SkaterDee on August 7, 2017

I'm slowly becoming more and more proficient as a barista at work. It's not something I ever really thought I'd want to do...

Working retail is one thing, but I've worked food prep jobs more often than I'd like to recall, and it's always ended badly. I mean, I enjoy it; it's kinda fun, and definitely a challenge that keeps me from getting bored, but it's going to be a little while before I'm confident enough to fly solo.

Still, I'm willing to give it a shot (heh... Get it? Like an espresso shot?) if it makes me a more rounded employee who, hopefully, might get a promotion, someday.

I'm happy to put in the extra effort because working in the cafe means I get tips, and that's extra money in my pocket. But instead of blowing that money on junk, I'm saving up for a new pair of skates.

Ricardo Lino (The Lino Life) got me hooked on the idea of Powerslide tri-skates. The trend towards larger wheels has me intrigued -- to say the least. I don't think I'll be taking the 125mm wheel challenge any time soon, but 100mm seems like a nice compromise -- right down the middle from what I'm rolling, now, and what's popular.

Keep in mind, I'm still a far ways off. I'm really counting on getting money from my YouTube videos -- which is also a far ways off. This will take months... I don't think I'll be able to get these skates before the end of the summer, so I'm going to be using my regular income to help save up. I only need the bare necessities, right? I can skip lunch a few times, maybe not eat out so many nights... Right? Sure. Heck, if I really budget myself, I might even be able to roll in new kicks by the end of August! A gal can dream...

Gettin' Multicutural Wit' It

Posted by SkaterDee on August 7, 2017

I really can't stress enough how much I love skating. I couldn't wait to go out after work, last night. I really just enjoy the feeling of moving so effortlessly -- almost like flying.

I also can't stress enough how much I love the cultural diversity of Wilkes-Barre. You'll find a healthy mix of people from all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, and more. You'll find Jews, Muslims, hispanic families, Asians, etc. — all living in the same neighborhood. I really do love it.

We went downtown to catch the end of Wilkes Barre's inaugural "Multicultural Celebration." I was really excited about going, but had to miss it Saturday because of work. Unfortunately, it was pretty much over and done by the time we got there. Still, we saw some friends, got in a great session, and even had some good food. Good times! And the weather was perfect for enjoying a nice evening out and about.

The Question of the Transgender Athlete

Posted by SkaterDee on August 6, 2017

Ugh... I have a backlog of about 3 or 4 videos I have yet to edit and upload. It's been so long since my last video, I really need to get back in the saddle and finish what I've got before moving on to new stuff. And yet, I feel the desire to shoot more videos...

Another idea I've been kicking around is a series of blog posts (and possibly videos, if I can figure out a way to do it) where I discuss the intersection of transgender individuals who are also athletes. Some of the things I want to do, especially, are take a look at how HRT affects athletic performance, and how the sports world has been reacting to transgender athletes when it can be hard enough simply accepting gay athletes in professional sports. (Not that trans athletes are anything new... There have been several trans athletes in only the last hundred years or so.)

What I want to do is navigate the "hero's journey" narrative from a transgender perspective to get the story on, not only how transitioning and HRT affect performance, but how social and cultural acceptance impacts performance. I believe it would make for an interesting story that captures the struggles of how athletes not only overcome their personal barriers and obstacles, but also the challenges of being accepted in competitive sport.

What we face as transgender individuals is enough of a challenge. Add to that the challenge of athletic competition, and the stakes are raised even higher. How does one rise to these challenges? And what other challenges await them? These are questions I seek to answer.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Posted by SkaterDee on August 5, 2017

This has to be one of the rainiest summers I can recall in my life. And not just rain, but severe thunderstorms for several days in a row. Usually July has a few showers and remains mostly dry, but this is ridiculous. It's really cramping my style!

Thus, instead of going skating last night, after work, I watched the lightning off the back porch in between edits and updates to this site. Good times! At least I did manage to get a skate session in before work.

Speaking of work, my time there has been less than stellar, lately. I don't usually talk about work (because reasons) but it's a big part of my life. I've always been very career-oriented. I've had goals I want to meet, and things I want to do. So far, though, I just feel like I've been spiraling downward instead of making progress. It's very frustrating to feel like you're going nowhere despite working as hard as you can... :/

Other things that have been affecting me are "that time of the month," leading to terrible nightmares, stress dreams, and other sad, depressing images and scenery. Yesterday was particularly bad. I woke up after dreaming that I was living through some kind of supernatural murder mystery. There were so many terrifying moments that I woke up feeling awful and more exhausted than when I went to bed. This sucks! I really wish my plans would work out, just once, and that I'd get to experience some kind of success. I need a vacation...

Skating, as usual, has provided some release. As I mentioned, I went out in the morning before work, yesterday, and really pushed myself to go as fast as I could. I summoned up all my strength and got out all of my rage and frustration, focusing on sprints and aggressive climbs up the hilly sections of the Riverfront. It felt wonderful; exhilarating and uplifting. And I'm sure it helped with my weight loss goals... 145 lbs. I'm hoping to lose another pound or two by the end of the week. Wish me luck!

And I'm out. Take it easy, folks!

There's A New Blog In Town!

Posted by SkaterDee on August 4, 2017

Whaaaat? Yes! I set up a new blog. Mostly I wanted to try out this app and see how Simpl works, but if it gives me a place to showcase my skate videos, then I'm on board!

My name is Dee, and I've been roller skating and roller blading/inline skating since I was a kid. It was the late 80s, and Sunday night at the roller rink was my jam! (Yeah, I'm old.)

Eventually I moved on from quad skates to inline skates, but not for a long time. Inline skates always looked so cool, to me, but I didn't want to invest in an expensive pair of skates only to let them collect dust. So, it wasn't until the early 2000s that I finally bought a pair.

Unfortunately, they ended up collecting dust... It wasn't easy; I was too used to the stability of quads. I couldn't quite get the hang of inline and didn't really like going out into the street when I barely felt comfortable simply standing up. And then, one day, I decided to have another go, and really practice. And I'm so glad I did!

These days, I don't hit the rink as often. (In fact, I don't go at all, anymore, but that's for another post.) These days, I spend most of my skate time on the street.

I'm not what you would call an aggressive skater; my interest is solely in fitness skating and having fun. I like to go fast, but within reason. I never really learned how to go backwards, and jumping around kinda scares the bejesus out of me. I keep saying I'll try to get more aggressive, someday, but I'm really fine with just going around downtown and wherever my fancy takes me.

So that's my story. That's how we got here. The future? I don't know, just yet. But I intend to keep on skating for as long as I can