Jen Emmert

Jen Emmert writes at PriorFatGirl, candidly documenting her journey of losing 100 pounds through all of life's dramatic moments including new jobs, the death of her mom, wedding planning and, most recently, tornadoes. Jen's story has been seen in SHAPE Magazine, AOL.com, Woman's Day Magazine and many local news outlets. Follow her journey as she continues to fight for healthiness in an unhealthy world.

Rollin' Round the Dome

Posted by: Jen Emmert under Health Updated: November 13, 2011 - 8:42 PM

What do you do when it begins to get cold outside but you need to move? You head to the Metrodome! Ah yes, the marshmallow-lookin' place in the middle of the new-stadium-controversy has some hidden tricks and I'm about to share it with you!

I'm fairly confident, based on the small number of people on the night I went, Roller-Dome is not a well known activity but one the Twin Cities needs to know about. Winter is coming soon which, if you are like me, winter means going stir-crazy indoors dreaming about warm summer days when frolicking in the sun-rays is the norm. I'm not a roller-gal. The only set of wheels that feel comfortable to me are the four wheels of a car. 

When the opportunity came up to go rollerblading at the dome, I jumped at it. No. Actually, I didn't. My first reaction was to make a I just drank spoiled milk face and exclaim "No way, I haven't roller-bladed since I was a tween!" It was only after I declared I couldn't do it that I decided I needed to do it. There is no way to prove you are too old then by saying you are too old -- so I needed to prove to myself I still had it in me, that I didn't in fact become too old to be active.

Parking is free and admissions was $6.50 (less if you are a student, senior or pre-teen). Luckily for me, Roller-Dome rents all the gear I needed: blades, elbow/knee pads and helmets. (Note: I made the decision to rent pads or helmets. My choice.)  It took me about 3.2 minutes to remember how to secure my feet into the blades.

And then? It was time to face the music... or blades. Standing up was harder than I remember. My feet rolled back and forth, my balance tested. I held onto the wall longer than I should but only because it gave me security that my feet weren't providing.

 

When I felt comfortable enough, I let go of the wall and just stood there. Taking it all in, breathing in and out slowly so as not to lose my balance and topple over. Another two or three minutes passed and then, it dawned on me. I hadn't fallen yet. I stood up straight and puffed out my chest. I was on roller-blades. Realizing I had accomplished only the beginning, I knew what was next was movement.

I went rollerblading with my sister, Melinda, and my niece, Kenzie who is 10. Both of them seemed way more confident then I, even though Kenzie was the only one out of the three of us who had been rollerblading in the recent years. My shoulders back, my head held high, I thrust my head slightly back which threw my weight to the front...I scooted forward about six inches. My eyes lit up and my mouth opened wide exposing my teeth in a smile as wide as my face -- I did it, I moved on roller-blades without falling! I tried it again and then, again. I was 3 feet away from where I had been holding on the wall and I was childishly elated with my accomplishment.

One of the workers watching me from a distance chimed in and told me I'd actually have to move my feet and not just throw my weight around attempting to move. And he was right. I'd have to make some sort of a fluid move. So I waved my arms and my legs when in opposite directions. My right leg pushed back and my left leg forward in a scissor like motion. I felt discombobulated  yet I was moving. Upright. With some sort of wobbly balance.

With each push of the right leg, I felt more and more confidence. Music piped blaring from the speakers above was Top 40 main stream. I wanted to bounce up and down but feared I'd overload my balance. Right leg, left leg, right leg, left leg. It was like the 15 years of no rollerblading hadn't existed. I was no professional, by any means, but I was moving more than I would be had I opted to stay home and watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 

A couple times around the upper concourse and I was floating on my roller-blades. The three of us, Melinda, Kenzie and myself had tackled our roller-blades and were moving pretty good. Imagine my surprise when we came up on one of the emptied out concession stands where three women had stopped. They were sitting on the floor with their wheels in the air, twisting their mid-section left and right.

I knew exactly what they were doing. Ab work. These smart ladies had gone around a couple times and then paused to do some ab work. BRILLIANT! Now that is a way to get a workout in!

Their names? They told me: Detroit Muff, Dollface Demon & Beretta Lynn.

An hour had passed and Melinda, Kenzie and I had made it five times around the dome. Each time around is a little less than a 1/2 mile so 5 times around was about 2 miles.

Rollerblading at the dome was the perfect week day activity to get us out, get us moving and laugh with each other. We had good conversation and created memories. We were surrounded by serious roller-bladers and others who, like us, were there just for the fun of it. There were those who were twice my age and others who were half my age.

RollerDome is the perfect activity to escape the winter blues.

For the schedule (week night & weekend dates available), parking instructions and additional information, CLICK HERE.

 

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