It started off as any normal rollerblade—me with my calf high socks, rusty “from freshman year” blades, my iPod and a perfect Colorado evening. It was 8:37pm. It didn’t take long for it to turn weird. Let’s just say, I accidental chose my POP playlist on my iPod instead of my NEW SONGS list. So, I started blading to a mixture of Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. I decided I liked it.
Cruising along at my normal speed, on a path I haven’t taken but once this spring, I realized this ride was going to be different. Five minutes in, I was winding down a path that is quite windy, and I noticed a young girl riding her bike up the path and around the curve … I realized she wasn’t going to see me or move over. So, strange thing number one: I was run off the path by, what I realized to be, a small Ukrainian girl, who smiled brightly but definitely didn’t apologize as I awkwardly “walked” on my blades through the grass.
I chuckled, smiled at her parents, who also didn’t apologize even thought their daughter had just run me off the road, and continued on. I finished the windy-ness and decided to go right, or East, which is away from my home. What I’ve learned with rollerblading is that I have to go further than I think necessary, or I’ll end up back at home and realize I was only gone 10 minutes! So I went east. I approached a tunnel. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that it’s customary to yell as you are riding through the tunnel. I heard very creepy noises. I took out my ear bud and listened closely. I realized that a father and daughter were coming through the tunnel—yelling. Ok … whatever floats your boat! I couldn’t quite muster the courage to do it myself, especially as I passed the rest of the family in the darkness of the tunnel. They were yelling too. Strange.
I continued on; at this point, I hadn’t yet realized completely how random of an evening this was. I did the usual loop, purposely taking The Hill. The Hill leaves my hamstrings in knots—but I convince myself the toning it worth it. (I had not yet done The Hill this spring … I am quite sore.) As I breathed a sigh of relief, I started coasting down the slope. I did a little dance to whatever POP song was blasting in my ears. And then I realized that I’d just given a little booty dance to some random beer-drinking guys on a porch …. I turned, waved, smiled and continued coasting. Oh well. What else can a girl do?
I started to head back West at this point. BTW, the mountains and sunset looked GREAT! It was now 8:48. Seriously? Only 11 minutes? Wow. At this point, I’m pretty sure about 10,000 gnats had met untimely deaths upon my forehead. Nasty little things. Definitely had about 50 up my nose. Fortunately, I’d kept all but one out of my mouth. Nast.
There was the tunnel again. I entered, and could see the silhouettes of two bikers. I hoped they would move over for me. They did. But then, as they passed me, the lady yelled. Loud. What is this yelling thing? I’m so out of the loop. I hate being out of the loop. I thought about singing the lyrics to “Genie in a Bottle” really loudly, just to prove I could yell too, but I decided not to.
I reached the tree that I love that reminds me of childhood. I headed up the last killer hill, my hamstrings screaming all the way. I was almost run over by another young girl, though not Ukrainian. I noticed some skateboarders, determined my path home, and veered west yet again. I passed the house that has the cool stone sidewalk. I did a little jig to the current iPod tune—“I Want You Back”.
And, a black cat—a BLACK cat—leaps from the fence to my left and lands right in front of me, causing me to brake last second and wobble a little. She runs across the road and disappears. I spend the next 2 minutes reminding myself that I am not superstitious, that, while the Holy Spirit might choose to use “signs” sometimes, He wouldn’t use a black cat, and that God is sovereign. I am shaken, needless to say. I get back into the groove, mostly because I am excited to take the path that goes past the three backyards that have cool, well, backyards. I love blading past these yards. I’m now listening to “Larger Than Life” … and I take in the scene in front of me. ..
The path I want to take is being watered. (Why the city chooses to waste water on cement is beyond me …) I make a split second decision—I will blade through water. Not safe, I know, but I look ahead and realize I only have to get through 10 sprinklers—5 on each side.
I take a deep breath and head on through. The water is cold, and I have to keep myself from panicking about the fact that it’s “non-potable” and probably sewer water or something. Just near the end of the water shower, I get myself to just relax and enjoy the refreshing spray. I shake myself off, wipe off my cheeks (I’m really hoping the non-potable water washed away whatever gnat guts were left on my face) and dry my iPod. I have water in my right ear that is causing my ear bud to fall out, but that’s okay. The song changes to “Oops I Did It Again” and I head on my way … just as I notice fireworks straight south, bursting in various colors, high in the sky. Seriously? What a random night.
It might seem not that big of a deal to you, but normally I blade at like, 2pm with not a soul in sight, no Ukrainian girls, no gnats, not yelling families in tunnels, no creepy porch drinkers, no black cats, no sprinklers, and definitely no fireworks.
It was quite the night. I wish I had some Godly tie in—but I don’t. Simply this: Sometimes, Life is just random. Go with it. I sloshed through the puddles left by earlier sprinklers further down the sidewalk, and coasted home, doing a little dance to Britney Spears, and totally not caring that a car full of people watched and chuckled. I hope I brought them joy.