Five Minute Friday: Backwards

Holy crap, it’s Friday again!  How does that happen so fast??  Taking five minutes for unedited, uninterrupted reflection on a theme, graciously and creatively provided each week by Lisa-Jo over at the Gypsy Mama.  This week’s theme has me a little stymied – let’s see where 5 minutes will take me:


When I was a ‘tweener’ (though when I was one, we never called it that!), I used to love to roller skate.  I owned a pair of clamp on skates and used to go (very, very carefully) down the big hill on which we lived.  I couldn’t screw up the courage [to] make it all the way to the bottom – the speed was just too intense for me – but I did go 6-8 houses at a time before pulling off into the grass to slow down.

But what I really loved to do was to go to the rink in town, put on those shoe skates and make big lazy circles around the wooden floor.  I even took some lessons there – and I learned how to skate backwards.

Oh, the joy of that movement.  I was not a natural athlete.  (Well, that is the understatement of the century!!!)  I did not do team sports.  I was always – and I do mean always – chosen last for any spontaneous games on the playground.  But skating?  I could do skating!  At least if there were wheels on the bottom of the shoe, and not blades.

I really enjoyed those outings to the rink.  Cheesy music and all.  It was freeing for me to be able to use my body in a semi-coordinated way, to feel it ‘work.’  That did not happen for me very often – it’s hard to be awkward and gangly and unable to do what others seem to do without effort.  Not exactly sure why that was true for me, but it was.  So roller-skating was dreamy – as close as I ever came to dancing – and I truly loved it.

And going backwards – that was the best part of all.  I did it easily, joyfully, repeatedly.  And I haven’t thought about that in YEARS.  Literally.  So thank you, Lisa-Jo, for this flash-from-the-past.  It is sweet to remember those moments of freedom.


I am so happy to report that my 5-year-old granddaughter has NOT ONE of my physical hang-ups about her body and how well it works.  I don’t have any photos of her (or me) roller-skating, but I do have these of the day last March when she rode her bicycle without training wheels for the first time.

 I love the shadow she cast as she started off down the driveway, 
fears carefully tucked away.
 And how earnestly she worked to stay upright as she pedaled around their cul-de-sac.
And how very proud she was of her great accomplishment! Go, Gracie!!

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  1. Your post made me smile a big old kool-aid smile. I’ve never been able to roller skate or ice skate backwards. I’m always amazed at people who can. It does look so freeing, maybe that’s why I love it so much.

  2. This post took me back. I always wanted to learn to skate backward!

  3. This makes me want to go roller skate again. I loved the cheesy music too! But, I was NEVER good at skating backwards 🙂

  4. every time i tried to skate backwards, i always ate it. adorable pictures!

  5. I’d forgotton all about those clamp-on roller skates! Remember skate keys? Ah, you’ve brought back memories…..

    Do youngsters today even know what clamp-on roller skates are? I haven’t seen them in years.


  6. Thanks to each of you for your kind comments – and this was real ‘flash of the past’ experience for me to write as well as for you to read! My own kids had clamp-on skates, Linda – and that’s about the last time I’ve seen them! That would have been about 30 years ago, I’m guessing!

  7. I love that we both wrote about a physical activity. I skated the streets and the ice, but I can say I was never very good at skating backwards. I could stay up, and move, but never gained much confidence that way. What a gift that you did!