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_Well… this is awkward.

I love vert. I love vert so much sometimes I forget what I’m doing and imagine I’m lofting a giant 540, gravity wailing unhappily as I pivot upside down around my head for an all to brief moment. I digress- the point I’m gently butchering is that vert skating single-handedly rescued rollerblading for me. I look forward to Wednesday night like no other- it is the one evening in the week when I get to fly.

Tonight I got kicked out of the only park in Ontario with a vert ramp (name withheld because honestly we all know where I’m talking about). Apparently making the coping slide faster is unacceptable- silly rabbit, coping isn’t meant for grinding! I found myself being accused of waxing the coping for at least a year and being asked abruptly to leave. For months and months I have defended the park to my friends- “I know the street course sucks, but the vert is amazing!” and forcing them against their better judgement to turn up and skate with me. I’ve encouraged my neighbours to bring their kids along week after week and have helped to nurture a slowly expanding beginner scene in Toronto again.
For months now there has been a feeling that certain members of staff have been going out of their way to remind us that we’re a minority sport and tolerated at best. What the hell?

I’ve been told to ask again in a month if I can skate vert again; I don’t want to go back and beg for their permission to give them money. I’ve tried to be patient with the staff; tried to defend their decision to progressively downgrade the street course; to defend their abuse of my friends, to defend their sheer intolerance of another sport that just happens to be less popular than theirs right now.

Where is the breaking point? I think I finally reached it. I’m not in any way suggesting a boycott of the park; as the aggressive gentleman said tonight, they don’t care if we communally stop showing up- they believe they’re doing us a favour putting on a blading night and it won’t hurt them in the slightest if they just cancel it altogether.

I did NOT see that coming.

Night.

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