All Hail The Bladress!


Last summer, I started fantasizing about skating cross-country. That's when I came up with the name “Rolling With Lupus.”

I would make it a fundraiser for lupus research, and encourage other people with hidden disabilities to join me when I reached their town. We'd promote awareness, have some fun, and get some exercise.

I was really elated, even when I figured out it would take about 200 days to get from New York to California. That's without any rest days or a trip to Harry Potter World, which isn't even on the way and would add another 1,000 miles. But if my feet were gonna take me anywhere, fake Hogwarts would be first. I'd be like a freaking Pied Lupus Piper, amassing thousands of comrades. We'd roll into the theme park triumphant, and I'd yell out, "Greetings, magical bitches! Accio all the butterbeers!"

A few months into my half-serious planning, I realized how bonkers the idea was. I was approaching mile 20 of my longest group skate yet when my legs cramped up miserably and I had to stop. There was no way I'd last on wheels every day for six months. I’d have to come up with a smaller-scale plan.

For now, I'm living vicariously through the amazing Yanise Ho, a/k/a “The Bladress.” She’s skating from Florida to California and back to raise money for One Girl Can, a foundation which supports girls’ education around the world. Yanise is a chipper spirit. Watch her social media videos. She’s on her adventure without a dime in her pocket, and relies on the kindness of strangers to provide food and shelter. It seems like she’s having an amazing experience so far.

Yanise has inspired me.

I’m going to skate her route, but only one-way and in reverse (start in California, head to New York, then down to Florida). And I’ll add a few other unique touches: 1) a team of physical/massage therapists will follow me in a luxury RV; 2) Chris and Willie the Wunderdog will come along. They'll both have to learn how to skate; and 3) we’ll stay in luxury hotels. Oh, and 4) We'll take money. I like money. And 5) Our route would be planned not just for the smoothest journey or best sights, but through a direct line of Starbucks.

Yes, I want a fancy, coffee-fueled, cross-country Rolling With Lupus tour with my husband and dog. Is that too much to ask? How ballsy would it be to ask for complete sponsorship? Starbucks, are you listening?

I believe it was Pee Wee Herman who once said everyone has a big but(t). I have a few of them: Willie would be miserable; I don't want to upend Chris' life; and I don't have the chutzpah to ask for money to pay for our lives for six months. Also, while the journey sounds fun in theory, I'd actually miss my own bed after three days.

So, no fancy tour. But you bet your ass that when Yanise rolls into NYC, I’ll be the first to join her. I'll even bring her some Starbucks and offer her a place to stay in our luxury apartment (and by that, I mean, tiny, messy studio.) Yanise - you can totally have the bed, as long as you share it with Willie. I'll take the loveseat, and Chris will sleep in the bathtub - he won't mind. He loves baths.

#skating #thebladress #YaniseHo #OneGirlCan #rollerblading

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