Student takes inline route

Melissa Ruhlman/The News

Savannah Sawyer
Contributing writer

There are many ways to get around campus. Some ride bikes while others walk. Another route less taken is inline skating.

It all started at the beginning of the semester with Rebecca Johns, a freshman from Crete, Ill. Johns has received looks and comments from her fellow classmates and is known around campus for her chosen mode of transportation

“Two guys on the second floor of Hester, Matt Higdon and Keegan Miller, always call me ‘Rollerblade Girl,’” Johns said.

She came up with the idea when she got her Rollerblades as a graduation present in May.

Melissa Ruhlman/The News

Sometimes bikes can be too much of a hassle and too much to lug around so skating is an efficient way to get to class if you are in a crunch for time, she said.

“It’s a really good way to get to class and it’s smaller than a bike,” Johns said. “It works different muscles and you have both hands free but it’s scary with no brakes. If you love (skating), go for it but there can be some downfalls to it.”

Lately though, students around campus have not seen much of Johns and her rollerblades.

“Last Wednesday I was going across the bridge and there were people in the middle so I decided to skate on the patch of cement on the side,” Johns said. “I was going around a tree branch and in the cement there is a tiny divot and I didn’t see it. My right blade went into it and I started falling forward and there’s a pole and I hit my chin, then my body smashed into it and the outside of my left thigh hit it.”

Although her injuries were small they didn’t seem so at the time.

“At first I thought I had a concussion,” she said. “I was really dizzy; I thought my face was bleeding everywhere but it turns out I just had a scratch on the inside of my lip. My leg now has a big bruise the size of my hand.”

Johns said she had mixed reactions when she first hit the pole and ended up on the ground.

“I didn’t know if it was too embarrassing or if I was in so much pain – I didn’t know which one is worse,” she said. “I realize now that the pain was a lot worse.”

Johns was lucky to have the help of her friends after her spill. Clay Kuegel, freshman from Owensboro, Ky., helped her put on her socks and shoes since she could not reach her foot.

“She was unable to move around,” Kuegel said. “I was able to bring food to her and, on top of that, I would frequently visit her room to make sure she was OK.”

Kuegel said he finds it interesting that Johns skates to class.

“Personally, I think it is what makes her unique and it brings out her personality,” Kuegel said.

Another friend of Johns, Chase Hilsmeyer, freshman from Evansville, Ind., helped her overcome her fear of her Rollerblades again.

“I hooked onto Chase’s bike and he pulled me to class,” she said. “It was really scary; I was shaking. Every time I went over a crack or any time of rock, my knees started shaking.”

Johns said she plans to be back on her Rollerblades soon, skating around campus as confident as before.

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