Kim Brittingham hates the gym—so why is she finding herself back at one of those “mind-numbingly boring” places, trying to get in shape? It all started when she remembered how much she, as a teenager, loved roller-skating. At those “underage nightclubs” called roller rinks, she “was more than capable of holding my own,” she writes on Salon. “I could join a racing pack like the best of them. And when the DJ started playing funk after 10pm, I wasn't some stiff little white girl.”
But when she finds herself accompanying a friend to a roller rink as an adult, she wobbles. “Whoa, OK, I laughed. Must remember carpet does funny things under four wheels. But soon enough, it became apparent: It wasn't the carpet. It was me.” Older and with no roller-skating muscles to speak of, she finds herself panting, hugging the wall, with her butt “tensing up like it expected to be punched.” Frustrated at the feeling that she was “physically incapable of doing something I wanted to do,” she found herself back at the gym—and “not hating it.” Because this time she has a purpose: to get out on the rink again. Click for Brittingham’s entire essay.