What Happened to Grade Card Night?

How many of you didn’t even realize there used to be such a night?  If you haven’t heard about this before, then you are a lot younger than I am.

Wednesday nights used to be Grade Card Night.  There were sessions from 6-8pm and 8-10pm.  And believe me, they were among our busiest nights of the week.  Being a floor guard at the time, I can say with authority that it was by far the most physically draining of any other night of the week.

Many times we were near maximum occupancy capacity which meant there wasn’t much room to get around either on or off of the skate floor.

Now imagine you were the floor guard.  Back then, as it is now, the floor guard also had the responsibility of running the music and skate specials.  No big deal, right….  Wrong, very big deal!  You see, back then the Sound Booth was located up next to the office, where we now sell Roller Derby items.  The floor guard, had to plan his music, any skate specials like couples, ladies only, boys only, and the limbo, etc.  Back then the music was on 45rpm records, no digital systems back then boys!  So, we would plan our music, stack it in the appropriate order, and go on about our business.

This is where it really got challenging!  Remember, we were floor guards, which implies that we are on the skating floor the majority of the time.  Then add in that we needed to get to/from the sound booth every two (2) or sometimes three (3) songs.  Oh, and I almost forgot, there were probably between 75 to 100 wonderful children between the skate floor exit and the sound booth at the front of the rink.

Get the picture?  Is it starting to develop?  Let me see if I can bring it a bit more into focus for you.  Each song back then was between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes long, and as the floor guard you needed to allow enough time to travel to/from the skate floor to the sound booth (safely I might add) every 2 or 3 songs to change the music and announce specials.  This coupled with all of those lovely children in your path created quite the challenge.  About how often would you speculate that we made it happen?  If I had to put a number to it, it would be 95% or greater of the time we succeeded.

Those were the days that it paid to be in good shape physically, along with being one of the best at maneuvering through the crowd with 8 wheels on your feet, and knowing exactly what was going on at all times.

Today, the days of Grade Card Night, Ladies Night, Adult Night, and so on are pretty much a thing of the past.  Now Monday thru Thursday night during the school year are usually set aside for School Skating Parties.  Each school having their party anywhere from 1 to 4 times a year.  With the old Grade Card Night there wasn’t much room for parents to join their kids, but now the environment is much more parent friendly, and we highly suggest you take advantage of this.  Join your children and make those wonderful family outings to Sk8away a set of memories you can always enjoy reflecting upon.

Back to my story now.  As a floor guard, busting it in all kinds of ways for the children’s benefit, wasn’t a job to me.  It was one of those things I simply just loved doing.  It I hadn’t I assure you, I would have found employment elsewhere.  For this writer, it wasn’t so much the challenge of the job, as it was, the enjoyment of seeing all of the kids have a really good time.  After all, they were what it was all about, weren’t they?

So, the moral of this story is really quite simple.  No matter how hard it may seem at times, enjoy every moment with your kids.  For one day they will grow up and you will be asking yourself when it happened, where did the time go, did I take advantage of my opportunities to bond with them, and what fun memories do I have of them from their early years?

Skating family
The Family that Skates Together


Roller Skating for your Health

Don't Forget Your Health
Don’t Forget Your Health

Roller Skating for Your Health
When you go to your local skating rink, or to the local skate park, are you thinking about your health?  I can tell you from personal experience, that Roller Skating can, and does have, many positive impacts on your health.

I know that when you go roller skating, your health isn’t dominating your mind.  Instead, you are focused on one of the following:

  • a quality family outing
  • the place where your kids will have fun and be in a safe environment
  • a place to enjoy watching your kids have fun
  • the place where you can enjoy skating with your kids
  • a place to watch or be a part of the local Roller Derby Team Bouts and Activities

The list could keep going, but I think you get the point.  Local skating rinks support special skating events.  All Night Sessions, Sessions for Teens, and Sessions for the younger, more adorable ones in our lives are all part of the rink experience.  Then there are the private parties sponsored by various groups such as grade and junior high schools, college clubs, and Christian Skates to mention a few.  So, besides being fun, roller skating is family friendly.  It can be elegant when applied to dance skating.   It can be competitive when seen at roller derby bouts.

Chiropractors say:

In an article found on echiropractor.com it states that, “Skating is a low-impact activity for the joints because of the fluid motion involved.  It incorporates exercise into many of the muscle groups, from the glutes and legs to the core and arms, which are involved in balance.  Skating burns as many calories as other forms of aerobic exercise.

The American Heart Association says

The American Heart Association recognizes and recommends skating as an aerobic sport.  Aerobic exercise benefits the heart.  Skating can improve leg strength and reduce body fat.  According to a study, inline skating “causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints compared to running”.  Roller skating is also “mentally uplifting (and) fun”.  It could also be performed when other exercises have become boring, during the winter or other times when outdoor exercising either isn’t possible, or the summer heat is so overbearing, that a move to the indoors is a smart move to make.  Not only that but roller skating may help people “regain strength after an injury”.

The following article was published by the Roller Skating Association International:

Exercise Benefits of Roller Skating

Roller Skating Fitness Facts
Roller Skating Fitness Facts

Today, kids need help and encouragement to stay in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. Roller skating provides a great way to exercise.  The kids are doing what they like to do more than anything in the world.  They are hanging out with friends and listening to music.  Kids may not realize that while they are socializing with their friends on skates, the activity itself is better than running the same distance.

  • Research conducted at the Universitat Konstantx concluded that moderate roller skating will increase the your heartbeat to 140-160bpm. Pick up the pace and you’ll likely top 180bpm. This activity strengthens the heart muscle in order to improve blood circulation.
  • Studies have shown that roller skating provides a complete aerobic workout.  It also involves all of the your body’s muscles, especially the heart.
  • Roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits and caloric consumption, reduction of body fat, and leg strength development.
  • Roller skating is recognized and recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) as an aerobic fitness sport.
  • Just one hour of moderate roller skating burns 330 calories for a 143-pound person.  If you roller skate vigorously up to 10 mph, you will burn up to 600 calories in an hour.
  • According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, in-line skating has less than 50 percent the impact shock to joints as running.
  • If you roller skate one day, bicycle another, and swim or run on another, you will be getting all the fitness benefits that aerobics can offer.
  • According to Dr. Carl Foster, associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, in-line skating as a form of exercise is as beneficial as running or cycling. (Information from International Inline Skating Association website)
  • During a 30-minute period, on the average, in-line skating at a steady, comfortable rate expends 285 calories and produces a heart rate of 148bpm.  (Information from International Inline Skating Association website)


Come on over to Sk8away, and burn those calories, increase your lung capacity, improve your muscle tone, be heart healthy, and oh, don’t forget to have fun.