At 60, Renée Forrestall wants to get back into rollerblading.
It had been over 40 years since she had skated. The Halifax resident thought getting back into activity would be a fun way to exercise.
She bought new skates and practiced for a week, but they didn’t feel right. They didn’t look like the ones she had as a teenager.
She started searching classified sites online for something similar to her vintage boots.
A man from Dartmouth had just posted an identical pair for $40. No size was mentioned, the skates had no laces, and they were pretty dirty, Forrestall said.
But there was something about those skates, she thought, and she decided to give it a shot. A few days later, she goes to the seller to try them on.
“It was like a Cinderella and the slipper moment,” she said. “It felt like a perfect fit. I couldn’t believe it.”
What happened next was even harder to believe. As Forrestall was tying the skates, she flipped the tongue of one of the boots and saw her name written inside.
“I thought, ‘Who!? How?’ And then I said, ‘It’s me! These are mine!'”
Forrestall was overwhelmed.
“The shock kind of absorbed itself and I felt the tears come to my eyes,” she said. “I think all of a sudden I was taken back to my youth…like life was flashing before my eyes.”
She remembers selling roller skates when she was a student at NSCAD.
The experience made her realize that you’re never too old to get back to something you love, she says.
Forrestall has watched instructional videos online to improve, and she’s even found groups of seniors who roller skate.
“I think the oldest woman I saw was 90.”
This means she has plenty of time to practice, she says.
The seller had a premonition
After responding to the message, Forrestall was worried because she couldn’t go to the seller’s home for a few days. She thought someone else might have her first.
The seller, James Bond, is moving and selling a lot of goods online.
He had no intention of keeping any items for anyone. He was not interested in online money transfers.
When it comes to those roller skates, however, Bond said he felt the woman was asking about them.
“There was just something about his posts that stuck with me,” Bond said. He said he received many requests to keep items, but this was the only time he accepted.
“It was just a weird hunch I had,” he said.
Watching Forrestall realize she was putting on her old skates is something Bond will never forget, he said.
“It was a really good time,” he said. “It really filled my heart with a lot of joy to be honest.”
Bond said it was funny to hear Forrestall say she felt like Cinderella putting on the glass slipper, because he and his girlfriend joked about how that story would make a good Disney movie.
Both believe there is something magical about their meeting.
“I like to think there are no coincidences,” Bond said.
Forrestall agrees. She still doesn’t understand how well it worked. She rediscovered her urge to rollerblade, saw the ad online, and got an idea of those dirty skates.
The timing was perfect.
“It all culminated in that little moment in time,” she said. “Things happen for a reason.”