Every weekend, both of the skating rinks in town have open skate sessions … as in open to the public. Over the summer, several of us scoped out Friday and Saturday night skate sessions, as well as the weekend matinees. The night sessions were full of testosterone driven teenaged guys showing off for the girls. The Sunday skate sessions are dominated by birthday parties and a crowds of tweens and younger.
There are always several of the Red River Sirens at open skate, and we have been referring to the time as “Skate Church.” We congregate, we engage in celebration of a common belief (skating), it’s on Sunday afternoon, there is music, there is socializing – it seems to fit some of the high points. Today’s Skate Church service was heavy on the under-ten set – knee high little ankle biters everywhere. There were tiny arms and legs flailing and kids dropped all over the floor like broken toys. Sometimes they would fall in more of a dominoes chain. However they landed, they often would stay there on the floor, like it was suddenly nap time at day care. When they were upright, they were crossing the track, or moving (it was not really skating) against the flow of traffic. That is where the prayer element of Skate Church comes in. For me, anyway. I am usually praying fervently to not knock over some kid, not be taken to my knees by one, and not skate over any delicate young fingers splayed on the floor.
Open skate is the best obstacle training available. Ten derby girls on a track will be a piece of cake after fifty out of control kids. At least we can hit the other girls.