A Life On Skates – Part 1 of 5

Welcome

You are about to experience what and how any Roller Sport can have a positive effect on your life.  In this multi-part series I will take you through what it was like for me beginning with the very first day.  I will take you through the awkwardness, the desire to improve my skills, the amazing feelings of accomplishment, and everything else that Roller Skating did, and has done for me in the over 40 years that it has been part of my life.  

So sit back, take your shoes off, and enjoy the journey with me.

In the beginningPair of Rental Skates

Can you remember the first time you went roller skating, roller blading, skateboarding, or participated in any other activity that involved putting wheels under your feet?  After taking your first fall, can you remember what your thoughts were?  How did you feel after your first, your fifth, or even your 100th time?

Even though it was about 48 years ago when I first tried skating, I can remember it almost as if it were yesterday.  Admittedly, I have only ever skated on quad skates, but I can imagine that any other form of roller sport had the same effect on those that tried them as what quad skates did for me.

The first time I went to the local skating rink and tried my luck at skating, it was pretty much a disaster.  I probably spent more time bouncing my body off the floor then I spent standing upright and moving in the appropriate direction on the floor.  But for some reason I found myself intrigued by the rush I felt when I did manage to stay upright.  The feeling of the air gently pushing against my torso and forming a pocket around my face was invigorating.  Of course, the whole idea of having wheels underneath my feet seemed a bit unnatural and was awkward at first.  But it wasn’t long before I spent more time on my feet than I did with my backside on the floor. 

For the first 4 or 5 months I stuck to using rental skates but found that I wasn’t learning much more than how to keep my balance, increase my speed, and spend less time bouncing off that hard floor.  I wanted to do better than that.  I was having fun, but I wanted more from this new form of entertainment.  I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t conquer the art of backward skating.  One day I finally decided enough was enough.  That I needed my own skates if I was ever to improve my skills. 

About now, it would probably be a good idea to let you know I was a Senior in High School at the time.  With that being the case, I had pretty much stopped growing and felt I could spend a little more on a pair of skates then the average new skater that was probably in the range of 6 to 10 years of age.  Knowing I wouldn’t need to buy new skates every year or two due to growth spirts, made that seem like a valid conclusion. 

My First New Skates

New SkateI spent the next week in agony waiting for my new skates.  I was convinced they would make all the difference in the world to me and couldn’t wait for them to arrive.  Turns out, I was right.  Two weeks later I was skating backwards.  A month later I was comfortable skating backwards.  Four months later I was skating backwards far more than I skated forward, and I was hooked for life. 

I’ll go into what that new life looked and felt like in Part Two of this series.  For now I only hope that I have peaked your interest and that you will follow along as the adventure continues.

Thank you.