Sunday, February 21, 2010

How A Wheeled Shoes Changed Lives

This is my entry for The Red Shoes Story Contest. I'm not sure if rollerblades would count as shoes...All I know is that this pair that I owned really made a difference.

I wanted to do figure skating when I was a kid but knowing that ice skating rinks in the Philippines are not freely available, I thought I'd settle with rollerblading. But we can't even afford rollerblades at the time. I was envious of my friend who got to buy rollerblades just as soon it was released, so I told myself I've got to have one.

I grew up. My mom had to leave for the US to make ends meet and I had to stop a year after High School. But I never forgot about the rollerblades. I got a stint as promo girl for a telecommunications company and on my first salary, I bought myself one! A red, rubber wheeled pair of rollerblades! To steer clear of people asking me why I bought a pair at such a late time in my life, I just told everyone that rollerblading was my game and I'm good at it!

That was the time when I learned how amazing mind over matter works. I knew how to rollerblade in theory, but I never got to try one. And since I told everyone that I knew how to, I had to convince myself also! And you know what happened? The first time I put the shoes on, I glided like a pro!

But that was not the most interesting part. The basketball court where my little brother and I used to play in was near a slumlike community where kids knew how to swear as soon as they learned how to talk. Those kids got interested with the rollerblades too and figured out a way to be friends with us.

Even with just a couple of uses, I knew I had my time with my rollerblades. I already felt how to fly with it and was already able to prove myself. It was the kids' turn. As icky as it may sound, I taught the kids how to rollerblade by letting them use my shoes. Each kid would have a turn every afternoon as long as they brought their own socks and promised never to swear. I was amazed at how fast they learned how to rollerblade and forgot about swearing given the time I had available for them!

Then on one valentines day, I was suprised by the same kids who came over to my house and asked me to go to the court. They might've thought I wouldn't come over because of the occassion but I would've anyway. When we arrived, the rest of the kids welcomed me with cards, plastic roses and some candy! Each one hugged me and thanked me for being their "ate" every afternoon.

I eventually stopped going to the basketball court because of a few stints and school. I also never played with the blades since I started teaching those kids. But still, those pair of rollerblades that I had really made one part of my life meaningful.

your every woman,


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