Off we go, scooting around. Gather speed (man, my legs are tired), one two, three, second foot on the scooter and hold “as long as it rolls” – check. I need to pause a bit in-between, but I do shoot off further away today, so that I actually have to hurry back to the instructor each time she announces a new exercise. But why walk when you can scoot.
This exercise was the basis of today’s session. We try three more combinations in varying degrees of complexity. Scoot off, both feet on the scooter, then bend one leg behind you and stand on the other one as long as you can – check. Imagine yourself looking down and, gasp, seeing a spider (bees were also suggested) on your foot and needing to shake it off.
Mostly check – not so much shake, but definitely some off. “And now,” our instructor says, “write in the air with your foot. It can be a zero, or the letter A…” I optimistically imagine myself “writing” a V, but as soon as I take off, jump on and extend my left leg, it becomes clear that I’ll have to start smaller. “A one is also OK!” our instructor shouts. A one it is. But a “quick” one, without the top bit.
At this point it starts to rain heavily and we take cover in the shed. It stops after ten minutes and we resume training. We were lucky – the kids practicing soccer in the distance were running laps with no breaks. “This next one is a partner exercise!” And for a minute we’re all in school again – because the people I would rather not partner with are eyeballing me. They rush over and start yelling something, so I pretend to be confused and ask a lady who seemed to have a sense of humour. Same – gather speed, scoot along with both feet on the scooter, during which time your partner runs alongside you and gives you math problems to solve. You do so while staying on the scooter. This is fun – I discover I’m better at speeding up and standing longer on the scooter.
The next exercise is also with a partner. Same base, only without the speed, both feet on the scooter, and as soon as you start to slow down, the partner holds you around the waist and carefully pushes. Your job is to steer. Half-check.
Last challenge: each of us gets a coloured cardboard circle which we lay on the ground. We’re supposed to ride along it, then loop back to it, and then loop from there in another direction. Brows are furrowed as we listen. “Basically make a figure 8. Small 8, large 8, doesn’t matter.” I make a whole potpourri of eights, at least as far as I can tell. Small, large, crooked, half-done, eights that fold in on each other, eights that unravel towards the end.
It rains again and we take cover. Since the clouds above still look threatening, the instructor lets us off early. But I ask for a few more minutes and do some joyful one-legged gliding.