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Posts Tagged ‘roller skating’

These are exactly like the roller skates that I had when I was young.

I remember being in 1st grade and going to the roller rink on a field trip. I didn’t know how to skate, and I hugged the edge the entire time while watching classmates skate around and have fun. I was determined to learn how to skate. I went home and asked my parents for skates, which they got me. My dad taught me how to balance and soon enough I was practicing in our long driveway, falling but never stopping. Then I “graduated” to the sidewalk, and got so good that I could skate backwards. When my class went back to the rink in May, I was out there having a great time. I remember how proud I was of myself. It’s my first memory of feeling that kind of accomplishment, and since then I’ve gone after every single goal with the same determination.

I’ve done lots of great things in my life since then – experienced first love, graduated college with a BA, been engaged, survived devastating heartbreak, received a teaching credential, worked at a startup (now a major Internet company), taught for 13 years, earned Masters degree, travelled a bit, etc. Lots to be proud of. Yet the main goal that has eluded me since my mid-20s is weight loss. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight (no longer being obese or even overweight) is the penultimate challenge that I’m long overdue to put a check mark next to.

After remembering how much fun I used to have roller skating I started thinking about the fact that I should buy myself a pair of skates so that I can start it up again. One of my ultimate “that would be awesome” fantasies is to join a roller derby league. Of course, I’m getting older and I’m not sure I could Whip It like those ladies do, but it’s fun to dream. Plus, I don’t get any broken bones or bloody noses in Dreamland (on the rink things might be different).

Since roller skating symbolizes such pride and accomplishment for me, I decided to buy a little something to remind myself of how that little first grader felt. I went on Etsy and found a cute little roller skate charm bracelet that will be here soon. I’ll wear it as a reminder of my first major fitness accomplishment to encourage myself to continue on with this one.

My 6-year-old self is tickled pink!

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I cannot believe that it’s taken me so long to write this post. I’ve been meaning to do it for over a week now, but I never seemed to find the time.

Over a week ago, I went to watch a roller derby bout for the first time ever, and I had the BEST time. It all started when I saw the movie Whip It! I had returned from the weekend telling my journalism class how much I loved the movie, and one of my students, T, told me that her mom is actually in a local roller derby called the Silicon Valley Roller Girls. I was so impressed with the coolness factor of this mom, but I should’ve known, because this student is completely cool in that smart, funny, editor of the newspaper kind of way.

As we talked about it, I told T that I thought the SVRGs should hold bootcamp workouts for the general public, because it would be an excellent fundraiser and such a fun way to get exercise. Currently their bootcamps are restricted to potential derby girls, but when I inquired, they did say they have plans to start a recreational camp sometime over the summer.

I was so intrigued with the whole idea of roller derby – the retro rockabilly vibe, the roller skates, the aggression, the awesomely violent and intimidating names, and the strength the women show. I bought tickets for the next home bout on May 1, and I couldn’t wait to go and see what the whole thing was all about.  I told T that if I wasn’t worried about breaking a nail or coming to work with a black eye or a banged up knee, I could definitely see myself pariticpating on a derby team.

Since I need to lose at least 50 pounds before I ever even think about joining a roller derby team, I thought that I’d do the next best thing – go roller skating the day of the derby bout.  I asked Ish if she wanted to join me, and she was excited for the bout and willing to go skating, against her hubby’s better judgement.  (He wasn’t happy about the idea of her skating, because he was worried about her falling and hurting herself). 

We headed to my childhood rollerrink, formerly known as Aloha, now called San Jose Skate. I loved the fact that they kept the original mural in the hallway as we entered the building. 

To say that this roller rink is in need of a bit of an update is the understatement of the year.  It is delapidated, dark, and somewhat depressing.  If you look at those skates at the beginning of the post, I think they say it all.  They’re cracked, ripped, and should probably just be thrown out.  Yet I guess they’re also broken in, comfortable, and familiar, too.  Just like the roller rink.  The day Ish and I went, we were by far the oldest people there without kids.  Everyone else in the place was either part of a child’s birthday party or they were tweens who were skating for fun on a Saturday.  Still, I was excited to get going, because the last time I skated (which was some time in jr. high) I was really good at it.  I never got into the rollerblading thing, because it was way too hard to balance on those inline skates.  Quads give a much more stable foundation to skate on, or so I thought. 

 I had looked up how many Activity Points I could earn with one houur of skating, and I was amazed that it was 14 Points!  Wow!  I think I earned at least 3 points just putting the damn skates on.  LOL.  It was definitely a feat of skill to get the laces done up, especially with all of the knots and rips in them. 

Ish and I with our skates on, ready to hit the rink.

Because the skates were so big and torn up, I did feel pretty unstable on them.  Or, it could’ve been that I really didn’t have the best balance, I’m not light on my feet, and I’m somewhat uncoordinated.  I’m sticking to the former, I think.  🙂

We got out on the rink and we were both hanging onto the side railing like our lives depended on it.  I know that I myself was giving the white knuckle death grip, and I think that actually hindered my skating, actually.  Once I started feeling a bit more comfortable and relaxed on my skates, I let go of the handrail and I was actually able to skate much better.  I started telling myself that it wasn’t going to be that traumatic if I did fall, so just enjoy it.  Just as I was hitting my stride after about 15-20 minutes of skating, the dj announced that they were about to play Red Light Green Light, and we left the rink.  It was too bad, too, because I think I would’ve made some good progress if I had a bit more time.  Skating was definitely a great workout, and I was out of breath pretty quickly.  It’s something I would like to try again, with newer skates. 

The roller derby itself was so much fun.  Lots of action and activity, and I am amazed that the women are able to stay upright, battle it out for points, and intimidate each other all while on skates. 

Derby girls come in all shapes and sizes, and they're not afraid to show some skin (through their fishnets).

action shot

more action

look at the intensity!

These girls are serious!

My student's mom, #62 - "Mauly Anna."

We won!

I think I’ve become a derby fan!  For $10, it’s definitely a fun way to spend a Saturday night.  I’m planning on going July 1st for the next home bout.

Thank you to Ish for her photos from the roller derby bout.

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