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So, how long have you been skating?

sommemi's picture

Ok, just figured since I'm kinda new to this whole "online community of skaters" that I would introduce myself.

HI. I'm Misty.

Oh, I guess I should say a little more. I'll try to keep it to a minimum. I tend to talk a lot. WARNING: This skater will not shut up.

Just as a start, I'm curious how long some of you have been skating? I mean, include it all... ice, roller, inline, whatever.
Personally, my Dad claims I started skating before I could walk. I don't remember, so I can't prove, or disprove it. But I know I've been skating since before I could remember. My whole family skates/skated. My sister was a National Champion in dance skating, my brother and 2 cousins were speed skaters, my mother played roller hockey, my Dad... did everything. I was a figure skater until I was seven (at which point I decided to switch to gymnastics cause "that is in the olympics... skating isn't"... or at least that's what my Dad said I said). Somewhere around junior high I got into speed skating, casually, competed in high school, and then helped coach for a while, then had a baby and that was it for a while except for sessions. I don't know what the heck got me on this roller-coaster of hell called the A2A, but I'm into it now. SO into it. I love it. Yes, so much that I ALMOST miss the gatorback that used to exist in the 38 mile. ALMOST.

But there's a small difference between me and the other skaters. No, I'm not faster... I'm not in better shape... I'm not cuter... I'm not sponsored... I don't wear a chicken costume... I don't have viking horns on my helmet... No. It's crazier than that...

I skate on QUADS.

Yes. You heard me. Quads. I know, I know. "Don't you like inlines? Are you old? I mean... old fashioned? Do you want to make a point? Are you broke?" Well.... yes... I DO like inlines, I AM old... fashioned, no I don't want to make a point, and I AM kinda broke. I really really really do want to get inlines... I just don't want to get cheap ones. I don't like the Kmart 'special' and the high top rollerblades hurt my shins at this point. I really want a nice pair of speed inlines, but want them molded to my feet. So... even though I know some about them from my Dad's skates and other people I know, I will probably be asking you all for a lot of advice when I get ready to invest. (Although, if any of you have questions about quads... feel free!)

By the way, I just realized that I mentioned my Dad a few times... quick background. My Dad has skated since he was 17, and has been a speed skater for like... forever. It wasn't until he had heart surgery and was put on blood thinners that he backed off. (It took a 10 man pile up and a bruise that went from his ankle to his armpit to get him to stop speed skating.) My Dad is unusual... when talking about my Dad, I always say "families are kinda like brownies. Real sweet, with a few nuts." My Dad's one of the nuts. But he knows a LOT about skating. After working on my skates for 2 weeks, it took an adjustment by him to get them to NOT want to pull together when I coasted. (That was the week before the 2005 A2A.) Chances are, if you've ever met him, you'd never forget him. People at my gymnastics camp used to call him "that crazy old man on skates".

Well. That me. How about you?

Comments

eebee's picture

You were BORN for A2A!

...if people called your Dad "...that crazy old man on skates"!!

 

Thanks for your entertaining intro, Misty. Thank you also, seriously, for not playing down how long you've been skating. It used to puzzle me back when I first started inline skating in 1999, that whenever I'd ask a really swift speedskater how long they'd been skating, they'd say "Oh one-and-a-half years". Turns out they were discounting all those years of being a figure skater or roller-disco expert, and were answering "How long have you been training for A2A?"! What I should have been asking was: How long has it been since you were unable to propel yourself along on any kind of skates without falling?

 

Regarding inline speedskates: Get them! Get them now! Who cares about credit card debt? (kidding) But please be aware that it's rare for a person's first pair of speed skates, custom or stock, not to give them problems (pain) of some kind, specifically when skating inordinately long distances (A2A). It's a myth, like finding a paceline that's just the right speed :-)

 

You rock for doing A2A on quads.

sommemi's picture

born to roll... :-)

Thanks! I don't claim to be an expert at ANYTHING, but I do know that I would much rather do anything on skates than on feet anyday.

I admit, I'm not totally ignorant of inlines... I use my Dad's... now that I'm older and my feet have grown bigger, I can fit in them with an extra pair of thick socks. But I really want ones molded to my feet so I can get more used to them and start really training.

One thing I have to admit... my quads are SO much heavier than inlines... I think I get a good work out just wearing them! (The one thing that helped me the most before the A2A, was wearing ankle weights for 2 weeks straight...)

skatey-mark's picture

nothing wrong with quads

I've been speedskating for about 4.5 years now.  My first A2A in 2001 was the culmination of many years of rec skating (probably about 10 years), all on inlines.  I went through a few different rec skates during that time.  In the spring of 2002 I took my first Eddy workshop and was immediately hooked on speedskating.

 

I quad skated as a kid growing up, but not regularly.  I got involved with the Carolina Rollergirls (roller derby) a fw years ago, though.  And a little over a year ago, I bought my first pair of quad speedskates.  It took me a few weeks to get used to them, but I really like them.  It's something different to do when skating indoors -- I do so much outdoor skating, that I get plenty of time on my inlines anyway.   Plus, since quads are slower than inlines (at least for me) I get a better workout when I use them indoors versus my inlines.

 

So over the summer, I bought another pair of quad speedskates off ebay.  The idea I had was to set one pair up for outdoor use (outdoor wheels and a heel brake.)  I haven't done that just yet, but will soon.  I also bought a pair of outdoor quad rec skates that I've used once, and will probably use on occasion...  But those things are HEAVY.  They also need a bit of maintenance (clean bearings, loosen trucks, etc.)

 

So next year I'll probably be using the quad skates outdoors for most "social skating".   When it's close to a race, I'll probably use the inlines for social skates so that I keep my technique straight.  And, if I ever decidethat I'm not going to try for a new personal best at A2A, I can totally see doing the whole 87 miles on quads...  :)

 

- SM - 

sommemi's picture

the A2A on quads...

Well, I tell you what... if and when you DO decide to do the 87 on quads, let me know. I'll go 87 on quads too! :-)  Honestly, I think there were actually quite a few times my quads had an advantage when it came to the A2A... it's easier to change your strokes and give different parts of your body a break on quads. Uphills? Try toestops once. they are AWESOME. :-)

But I don't deny that skating on quads gives a harder workout than inlines... especially if your skates/trucks aren't adjusted well. You can have a terrible time of it really... I think there's less adjusting to inlines than quads. One of the major benefits of inlines....

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