Confession Time

So I have a confession to make.  I cheated.  On winter.

There, I said it.  My secret is out for judgement.  I will proceed to avert my eyes and be shamed. 

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, I felt like my soul was telling me I should step forward to wash the slate clean.  But really, it wasn’t my fault (isn’t that what cheaters always claim?).  You know how it is, in the midst of the bitter cold, when the 31 days of January feel as if they have stretched into six months.  When even the most hard core winter enthusiasts second guess themselves for a moment as they walk out the door?  And you start to dream of someplace, maybe a touch warmer.  With a nice breeze blowing across your body.  Perhaps there’s an image of a tiki hut in the background.  Letting your dry, cracked, winter beaten skin feel something in the range of 70-80 degrees.  Yep, I finally broke down.  I needed a vacation.  A warm one. 

Where did I go, you ask?  Jamaica?  Cancun?  Costa Rica?  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  I hopped in my friend’s car and she drove us across the river  (drum roll please) to Minneapolis(Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding) – where we proceeded to pull up to, none other than, the Metrodome.  The Metrodome, you ask?  Yep, the Metrodome.  That downtown Minneapolis sports venue with the inflatable roof.  Not a big deal, you’re thinking.  I know.  But every adventure in life is what you make of it.  And it certainly felt like a vacation to me.  The ‘Rollerdome’, as it is called by the inline skating crowd, reopened on January 15th for inline skating.  A few weeks after the infamous blitzkrieg of snow that caved in several panels of the roof structure on December 12th of last year. 

You would think it would be freezing inside, with those gaping holes in the roof and all, but there are actually doors separating the concourses from the inner stadium that effectively seal you off from the elements, creating two levels of inline skating paradise.  The lower level is open to all ages, where any range of abilities and ages of skaters can be found, while the upper level, restricted to those ages 16 and over, is typically frequented by a more experienced crowd.  By experienced, I mean, SUPERCHARGED.  Considering myself somewhat of an intermediate level skater (having trained and participated in the Duluth Inline Marathon last September), even I had to make sure to leave room for the speed train of racers passing on my left, in their organized pace lines consisting of mostly men in pursuit of their inline dreams.  Now if I was a single lady in my late 20’s to 50’s, perhaps I would want to throw my eggs in this basket and start frequenting the Rollerdome.  Not that I could give you any stats on percentages of those who are unmarried vs. married.  I wasn’t exactly able to count rings on fingers as the flew by in a blur.  And for those attached folks, like myself, the Rollerdome also seems to be a great place for a couples hangout.

Oddly enough, the dome concourses are missing the old familiar smells of hotdogs, popcorn, and beer.  But what it does provide is a toasty respite from the cold and plentiful water fountains.  Take note of the latter, and leave your water bottles behind, or the ‘Mayor of the Dome’ (as he introduced himself to me) may just pass you by and let you know of the error of your ways.  The Rollerdome prohibit skaters from carrying water while they cruise the concourses as a matter of a safety issue.  I certainly don’t want to wipe out on someone’s spilled water while blading either.  Thanks, Mayor of the Dome.  The food and drink vending booths are all closed up, but their flair is still evident on the walls.  Use the passing image of the smoothie tiki hut to guide your imagination to another place.  Visualize yourself transported into the throes of the tropics (or a good ol’ steamy Minnesota July or August, if you prefer). 

There is free parking on the southeast side of the Metrodome.  A schedule and more info about rentals, prices, and rules can be found on the Rollerdome’s website , as well as info about the upcoming March 19th Metrodome Inline Marathon.  On my radar is the Minnesota Half Inline Marathon (August 6th), the Northshore Inline Marathon (September 17th), and the first inaugural Rollin’ on the River Inline Marathon (August 27th).  The latter taking place in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the same day as Beerfest.  Now I’ve got you.  Sold and sold!  Be sure to check it out as I’m certain it will be a fantastic event (I do happen to know someone on the planning committee).  After the race, you can venture out on the Greenway for a leg stretcher to limber up before the liquid festivities begin.  And for the real hard core skaters, you can consider the race a warm up for the North of 49th Inline Marathon, put on by our continental neighbors to the north the next day (shout out to Manitoba).

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~ by urbanwandernlust on February 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Confession Time”

  1. This is super cool! I have heard of this but don’t know anyone who has done it. Inspiring, and written well! : )

    I’ve never been great on inline skates, but I’ve been thinking about regular roller skating a lot lately. For someone who never was asked to “snowball” at skating parties, I have such warm memories of roller skating! Last time was in high school. If I wasn’t so chicken about getting hurt, I’d totally want to be a rollergirl.

    • Thanks for your comments Karen. Glad you liked it. It is hard to believe it was the first time I’d been there, considering the Rollerdome is into its 20th year of skating. I did happen to see an older guy grooving it up, freestyling it on his roller skates once. You should think about giving your roller skates a try over there. I see total rollergirl potential in you! If you are worried about crashing, I think they will lend you pads and a helmet for free. I tend to dork it up and wear full body gear – the elbow, knee, and wrist pads. An accident from snowboarding once taught me I’m a bit more fragile than I think. It’s no fun coping with injuries when you’d rather be out having fun. I’ll be bringing my helmet next time as well…that concrete doesn’t allow a lot of room for error.

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