Heather Kern & her roller skates

There is a period of my life that is represented by a collage of memories distilled into a single vision, like a short movie clip: Disco lights, Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” wheels rumbling under my feet, Ronnie Head (do I race him or kiss him?), and the distinctive smell of floor polish on the skate rink floor. That was the last time I had roller skates on my feet until I was 46 years old.

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

When the new local roller derby team announced they were recruiting, I could hardly contain my excitement. I drove my hour-long commute inventing roller derby names for myself, only vaguely considering that putting wheels on my feet at the age of 46 could be detrimental to my massage career. Evelyn Leisht? A broken bone could mean a substantial financial hit. Donna Matrix? I wonder if I can even stand up on skates. Kat Powerful? You only live once. So I joined. My roller skate love was rekindled and Cherri Boom was born.

I’m learning how to skate outdoors now. It is a totally different experience. It is much scarier, but also adds a new exhilarating dimension to being on skates. There are no smooth tracks and a lot more obstacles. But now, at the age of 48, I feel like smooth tracks are overrated and going through life avoiding obstacles means missing out on the views you only get to experience through taking risks. Life is short. I say put on the skates and enjoy the view.

Heather Kern lives in downtown Lewiston with her wife, Monique, and their three dogs, Jesse Belle, Magpie Snickerdoodle and Opal.

We want to know what makes you feel fantastic, powerful, on top of the world (and we’ll highlight you in these pages). Email MWM editor Shannon at sbryan@mainewomenmagazine.com.

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