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Good times - Great people - Fun skating on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham NC.

MikeB's picture

Why oh why didn't I choose to inline skate sooner?  After much internal deliberation on gear (skates, wheels, bearings, helmets, gloves, apparrel, hydration source, brake, yada yada yada) it's become apparent that I was putting up roadblocks to perpetuate my procrastination.  All the while, local skaters of the Triangle Skating Club were out there doing their thing and having a great time!  (http://www.triangletrails.org/ATT.HTM)

 Sure, you can spend all day online, surfing the web, and getting 'edgumacated' on all the gear, options and accessories, but in the end, you have to live by the Nike slogan - "Just do it."  I'm there now, and it's a great place to be.

Ya, it would be great to skate like Joseph Matia, Alexis Contin, Eddy Matzger, or Blake Lambert  ;-)   and while that's not realistic for me, what I do know is that skating the ATT with the good people of TSC can get me ready for the T2T and A2A.  To date I've probably put less than 100 miles on my skates but the payoff has already begun.  I can feel my technique getting better + my stamina improving, and that has really paid dividends in my hockey skating.  Instead of being completely out of gas after 3 periods, I feel like I could play another game.  And my stride is more powerful with way more jump.

I've already learned so much from Mark, Dave, Rosey, Elise, David, & Esther while skating the ATT, (not to mention the www.roadskater.net and www.triangleskateclub.com communities plus Richard Nett of www.nettracing.com), that now I can't imagine not skating at every opportunity. 

One thing learned: put on a brake.  Nettracing had my brake to me in 2 days and the peace of mind is wonderful, (especially on an ATT downhill with an upcoming intersection).  It's just so much easier to put a little pressure on that brake instead of toeing-in with alternating skates or grinding a T-stop (what a surefire way to grind a flat edge on $40+ worth of wheels!)

I haven't even touched on the health benefits.  So if you're thinking about skating - take the plunge;  looking to get back into it - dust off the gear; or not finding the time to skate as much as you'd like - make some time concessions.  You'll be so glad you did for many many reasons.  (Man am I pumped right now - who wants to get in a quick 20?!)

Comments

roadskater's picture

Shut up Drive to the Park

Thanks for the message, MikeB. It is so worth repeating, so I think I'll repeat myself. Get out of the office, get out the door, get to the park, before you go home, then see how you feel about that couch. If you go home, the gravity of life may suck you into the vortex of reclined televypnosis or perceived higher responsibility. If you go out, the comfortably numb soulcloud of smoke, drink, food, shopping or other addictions can whirl you around the bowl. If you need to escape, why not escape in a way that at least has a chance of helping you feel more alive, not less so, or worse, wanting to be nothing? If you must avoid, avoid your way to better health, I say! Ha! Leave your excuses, skates, helmet, pads, drinks, water, fireballs, powergels, shorts, socks, shirt, always in the trunk of your work car. Extras for any excuse you have too. Pack it all like a lunch for someone you love. You. If you find yourself going home and collapsing into a soft couch or comfy chair, don't go home. Just change the routine and see how it feels after a week. Go directly from work to the park or trail. Go there. Then if you get there and don't want to skate, don't, or just put the gear on and do 10 minutes and see if you feel better. Looks like rain? Maybe not at the park. At least check the radar for confirmation of your excuse. Or drive on by. Change clothes in Panera or Wilco (the gas station, not the band). Put your shorts on tucked under your work clothes at the end of the day if you're too embarrassed to walk out of work in cycling or skating gear. But the main thing is to break the routine that has kept you from being at the trail or park or track. Then make a routine that gets you to the trail or park or track. You'll usually feel LESS tired if you exercise moderately, be MORE able to sleep, have a BETTER mental attitude, and possibly will make BETTER food choices than before (it's all relative!) or at least burn off some of the bad diet. But it can't be a chore either. Let it be fun. Let it be love. Do as LITTLE as possible instead of thinking you have to go for hours or it's not worth doing anything at all. Do a little. Quit if it's not fun. Not quit forever. Quit for that day, or that hour. Meet someone instead, or watch a bird walk around, since you're at the park. If it's not fun most of the time, it's not for you! Get stronger, faster, safer by increments. Play the scales of skating so you can improvise later. Or sprint full out to lose your mind and fear and poison. But doing as little as possible almost every day is way better than doing nothing because you can't face doing serious workouts with discipline and honor and duty and all that is perfect in the posterland universe of perfectionism. Hard work may come later if you really fall in love, maybe. And then it won't be a chore. It'll be a life! But do as little as it takes to keep enjoying it. Then watch out, because you may become obsessed with this joy. You may feel love from the universe, from yourself, the love you've been missing... skateylove... bikeylove... walkylove... even hockeylove (but that's mixed with some hard knocks too I guess). Those dolphins will get you, the feelgood dolphins, the little dopey dolphins, the smiling end door fins, the beginning of the endorphins, when you pass from the tunnel of boredom to the blinding blue white skatey sky. Even if for a moment now and then, or perhaps often, or forever. When the natural skate love drug within spreads inside you, the world will know. When you ride that wave, when you go skate now, you may find that very little else matters. People may look at you smiling through your admittedly painful laps and wish they could do that. (Yes you can, amused observers.) There are many days when I'm out alone, especially, and I'm feeling pain but realize later I'm smiling too. Such a strange and wonderful thing, smile soreness. And some days I'm not up for all that happiness, of course. Some days I don't go, especially if I have excuses to stay in...work, even! But if I go, 20 minutes usually gets me in a better frame, and may even help me not think about work but let my mind work it out while I think I am focusing on the pavement. And if not, I go home. I made running drudgery. I did it a while, got pretty good at least for me, then injured my body or psyche enough to not want to go back. I'd go back, repeat, and end it the same way. With skating, I just want to love it so it can love me back.
MikeB's picture

Park it? or Park it?

Excellent sentiments Blake - you nailed it. Thank you. So the choice is up to the individual right? Park it? and sit at home, glued to the tube, wondering how you're going to find the time to free up hard disk space on your DVR....OR Park it, by making time for yourself at the local park, track, trail, road, rink, etc. What I find interesting is that while skating, everything else that might be trying to occupy my mind has to take a back seat. And this phenomenon gets even stronger the faster and lower to the ground I skate. There a direct correlation between skating concentration and proximity to pavement coupled with speed over pavement. Normal I suppose, but pretty darn cool just the same. Maybe if Einstein were a skater he would have a calculation worked up, many pages long, checked and double checked, verified time and again for accuracy. The Theory of Skate-ativity perhaps. I'll work on that - just not while the road miles are whizzing by!
roadskater's picture

Bobber or Fly; Unified Field Theorum

Yeah I say the difference between running and skating is like the difference between pond fishing with a bobber and stream fishing with a fly or spinner. The former in each comparison allow me to ponder my life and to go down into that more deeply, and latter require my "conscious" attention and focus constantly, releasing me from active front of mind ponderings, in general. Skating and talking with someone is a bit less this way but has social benefits that are just recompense. I note that some things work out in my mind somehow while I'm focused on the river or asphalt, and I have some ah-ha's take on me sometimes when skating alone or past the point of conversation on a long route. These ideas are what I repeatedly refer to as pop-tarts because of the snappy spring sound of the toasterbrain as the idea has arrived all hot and dangerous and ultrasweetfatly. Yes, skating can be a great vacation from the grooved repetition, the matchbox car on the 45 player, the not so merry go round watching the wheels go round and round. It's sad more people don't get past the first try at skating to see what it does to relax the mind and let it focus another way. Some kids (and adults) are getting it with their skateboarding trick repetitions and focus. I find it very much like learning a song from a record by ear on the guitar. Focusing constantly with the ears or eyes seems to reset the mind a bit. I think a lot of people find video games to be similar, but there are other issues that go with that. The good thing about skating is that you burn a few calories while you're getting a lot of stuff out and maybe letting some parts of the mind that may be tired or overworked either take a break or work as they will. I think it's the perfect follow-up for a day or work stress. This is unscientific talk here, and metaphoric, but I'm OK with that and hope you are too! Skateylove y'all. roadskater

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