by Rachel Poulin '21
“Water bottle? Check. Bandana? Check. Headphones? check. Will to potentially risk my life? Double check.”
The sun was nestled along the waterfront horizon. The clouds were soft pastels coddling the last golden rays of the hour. I could hear cars whizzing past me, and waves crashing in the near distance. An evening haze fluttered in the air, and the smell of ocean salt infused the depths of my lungs. Grabbing my busted up skates, I made my way to the edge of the road. Though the sun was past its peak, I still felt the heat of the day sear at my bare back.
With my feet secured in the boot, and my wheels creeping forward, I was desperate to roll. I felt the lyrical chords of song pumping through my soul, and anticipation pulsed through my chest. One more step, and I’d be soaring on asphalt. With one last faithful breath I pushed off my back foot and drifted into the open ocean that was route 210.
Stride one and two, were shaky. Stride three and four, were wobbles. Stride five and six, were uneasy, but stride seven was confident and sure. Like the stroke of a paintbrush, I wove past each bump and crack. The sand sprinkled on the tar, sprung up through my wheels and tickled my shins. I felt every pebble, every rock, and every imperfection underneath my feet. Skating like this was risky, but deliciously vivacious.
The moment was straight out of a ‘California Summer’ Pinterest board. The warm breeze fondled my hair, and my headphones played the most calming psychedelic tunes. The never ending road in front of me, carried on for as far as the eye could see. Progressively stretching and growing thinner, but never quite touching the pale blue sky.
Pushing forward I began to build up speed. My peripherals became a blur, and Robin Schultz drowned out the sound of engine roars and catcalls. The setting sun was crested at the skyline, and the open void above was a watercolor dream. I felt like I was swimming in a magical, cotton candy, fish tank.
My body ached of heat and sweat, my breath could barely keep up with itself. My heart was beating so immensely, I could feel the vibrations thrashing at the backs of my ears.
Swimming through the air, the warm summer breeze kissed each drop of sweat on my skin. A pounding sensation took over every square inch of my body. I could feel the energy building within me, and in order to maintain the feel good sensation, I had to push my skates until the wheels maxed out.
Running and rolling over the asphalt, my breathing hitched, and I accelerated at an ungodly pace till suddenly, it all washed over me. Like the crashing waves at my side. Slowly lifting my arms up into the air, I closed my eyes and felt the visceral feeling of release. The warmth of the salty sea air, seeped into my pores and filled my lungs. My body cut through the breeze, and my heart swelled.
This feeling of freedom, of flying, of euphoria, was one that I'll never forget. I’ll always remember how the sunset, how the horizon, and how the road looked ahead of me. How the music sung in my ears, how with every step I took, my muscles glowed, and how utterly breathtaking it felt, to rollerskate at sunset.