A Little Girl Rollerblading On Her Own In A Local Park Made Me Cry My Eyes Out
By A Friend • March 21, 2020
So most Sundays I bang out a quick 5km run around my local park, it resets my body clock after a weekend playing video games or writing until like 3am.
So as I'm getting to the last half a kilometre, I see a figure in the distance. They have brightly coloured, pink footwear on, I'm only just sort of registering this in my exhausted state when wham, they hit the deck. Hard.
To my surprise, they just get right back up again, but again wham they hit the deck, only this time, they don't get up.
I pick up the pace a little, jogging over to them and asking if they're okay.
It's a girl, maybe ten or eleven, all on their own, taking off a pair of roller skates with their face all red from what were obviously two painful falls onto hard concrete.
"Yeah, I'm okay, thanks", she says. But she is not okay. There's tears forming in her little eyes as she takes off her rollerblades and swaps them for training shoes she's been carrying in her bag.
"That was a really bad fall, are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah, I just got scared" she replies.
"Have you just started Roller Skating, yeah?" I ask, it's obvious she has, the skates are like brand new.
"I only got them on Friday!" she says, a little smile appearing as she remembers how happy and excited she must have been to get them.
"Wow, that's awesome! But, you know, I think it might be a bit too windy to practice, I used to skateboard and it's amazing how a little bit of wind can throw you off your balance!"
"Yeah, it is really windy", then that little tear forming in her eye began to drip down her cheek. She was doing everything in her power not to cry in front of a stranger, she knew she had to be strong. Her little voice quivered, but not once did she break.
"Are Mummy and Daddy around?" I asked her, looking around to see if there were any parents nearby to call over.
"No, my Mum is at home"
"Wow, so you came all the way here on your own because you're so excited to use your skates!?"
"Yep", again, her smile sort of overrides the tears. She's proud of herself, and I am too.
"Oh my God, you are the bravest little girl I have ever met! Do you live close by, I only ask because if you fall and graze your elbow, it's just a short walk home isn't it"
"I do, but my Mum said not to tell people where I live"
"Hahah well your Mum is very clever!", I laugh. She smiles again.
"Well", I continue, "I'm going to carry on running to the Tesco to get my dinner. You look after yourself, okay? And I really mean it, you are so brave learning to roller skate like that!"
"Thank you!" she says again, she's stopped crying, she just looks so proud of herself.
"You are so welcome!"
I didn't think about the little exchange again until I've just now done the dishes.
I don't know if it was her being a total inspiration, or it triggered something parental in me, but I just started crying. People are absolutely amazing sometimes, and if or when I have kids, if they're half as brave and strong as that little girl, I'll be a very, very proud father indeed.
I hope I see a very familiar looking Roller Derby champion in the future, one with the same determined look in her eyes, the same oblong glasses. One who's absolutely ripping it up the track with the same confidence and bravery she had when she was just a child.
Keep it up, Roller Girl, you made me proud to be a human today.
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