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T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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I Like to Rollerblade

2003-02-20 5:50 p.m.
I have been one crazy rollerblading fool lately, and it bothers me to not be out there today for the second day in a row. I managed to run a nice blister on my heal, so Im going to have to take it easy for a few days.

The first day I went rollerblading, I thought I was heading towards the water. The plan was to ride for twenty minutes and then turn around and come back, trying to minimize the amount of lost-ness I could encounter. I skated and skated and skated. I have no freaking idea where I was. I finally found a road I recognized and asked a nice lady if I was headed in the right direction. Nope, not me. She offered me bus fare, but I took only her directions instead. Time elapsed: 55 minutes.

The next day I was determined to go to the lake, so I studied my map long and hard. If I follow my road all of the way, I should run into the water. Well, I went my couple of blocks with no luck. So I went a couple more. Then I started to recognize a few things: the recently-torn-down projects, the projects that still remain, and the police station. I recognized this as Cabrini Green, the not-so-nice part of town. I took my little Nike-swathed self straight outta the hood and headed back home. Time elapsed: 25 minutes.

The next day I was armed with real directions, and I made it to the lakefront with no problems. I rolled slowly to Navy Pier and got to see three large seagulls walking on the frozen water. One fell in and I laughed aloud. People turned to look at me, but I didnt care. I was in freaking Chicago, and I am happy. Time elapsed: About 25 minutes.

After my high of meeting lots of new people at a party, I decided to go for a real rollerblade trip. Instead of heading south to Navy Pier, I headed north, determined to find the bird sanctuary noted on my map. I rode up 29 blocks (NOTE: 8 blocks per mile) with no birds to be found. I wandered around the park a bit, and then headed home. Time elapsed: About 90 minutes if you include picture taking time.

Then I was forced to take a few days off. Snow is lovely, but I realize that it is also dangerous. And for a girl too cool to use a helmet and knee pads, Im not gonna chance it.

Then yesterday I decided that the 30 degree weather and shining sun were enough to lure my away from the laptop and back to the waterfront. I got dressed in my regular skating gear: two pair of socks, stretch pants, wind pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, a lined wind jacket, ear warmers, my workout hat, and my workout gloves.

The Londo Mondo skate group will be meeting in a couple months, skating ten miles together, twice a week. Ten miles seemed impossible, so I figured Id give it a try. I skated all of the way up to the 5000 block (math whiz, thats about five miles) quickly, and then made my way back slowly to have a look around the skate path.

I thought of Kevin and Aaron at the 4600 block where a cement skate park stood, overtaken by kids looking like they stepped out of 1993. I thought of Matt at Daves birthday party when I almost busted my ass trying to turn around on the path and instead hit a patch of grass. I thought of the time Crystal and I skated for what seemed like hours when that damn blister formed on my foot and ached me with each push of my right foot. (I could have really used someone pulling me there at the end!)

When I got to the waterfront, I was caught by the most amazing sight: The lake was frozen for as far as the eye could see. The waves were stuck mid-wave, making it look like a million shards of glass were broken past the sandy beach. I wish I had my sunglasses for those last ten blocks.

It reminds me that I need to take some pictures. One day away, and already Im jonesen.



Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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