Skating to stay positive and healthy in the midst of a pandemic

By Alyse Kiara Deatherage  

When my second oldest sister and I were young, we each owned a pair of skates. Mine were a pair of blue Cinderella skates and my sister’s were black with purple roller blades. We often skated around our neighborhood and we enjoyed learning together.  

A few Christmases ago, when I was still in high school, I only really wanted one thing: a new pair of roller skates. It’d been so long since I’d owned a pair and I really enjoyed the thought of skating like we had in the past. I was so excited to get them that I ended up skating all around the house all Christmas morning. However, this excitement didn’t last long as the fear of getting injured by skating outside on the sidewalk crept in, so the skates only got used once when I brought them out for a bonding day with some co-workers about two years ago.  

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who fondly recalled our skating days, because a few weeks ago my second oldest sister ordered some skates for my youngest sister. Soon after, she bought herself some skates, and then my oldest sister bought my mother some skates for Mother’s Day. It turned out that my mother has secretly been hiding some professional skating skills that we never knew about. And my oldest sister has skates on the way as well.  

Now, we’ve become a whole skating family! Since the pandemic started, we’ve been stuck inside and, like many families, spending time together outside has been our only escape. My youngest sister has had the hardest time during this pandemic, because it’s clear that she misses her friends from school and the dance classes she took. Her family are the only ones she has to socialize with, so we all take it upon ourselves to do skating days at least twice a week for her mental health, as well as ours.  

This has helped me a lot too, because I personally have a hard time getting up and doing things that are exciting without others to do them with. So, with the help of my apparently professional roller skating mom and my very brave older sister, I’ve finally pulled my old, yet still brand new looking skates out of the closet, and they’ve gotten some good use too. They have battle scars from all the falls they’ve had to save me from as I master skating on the pavement and gravel and, now, skating backwards.  

My youngest sister is still learning, and I find myself constantly reminding her that I’m only good at avoiding my face planting into the ground because I’ve gotten so good at catching my falls, thanks to a lot of practice. Our weekends have consisted of breakfast and lunch together, a full day of skating, and then dinner together before my sister, who doesn’t live with us, returns home. Soon, my eldest sister will also join us and she’ll have to work hard to catch up to me and my second eldest sister who are eager to master skating backwards and turning the way my mother does. When this pandemic is over, the first thing we’ll all do is hit the roller rink!