Did you know that October is National Roller Skating Month? The RSA (Roller Skating Association International) web site has a press release about how NBA 2004 Slam Dunk Champion, Fred Jones, is supporting the campaign. But the RSA site also supplies links where you can:
- find a skating center near you
(find out why others love their rinks below),
- read how youth skating programs help fight childhood obesity, and
- vote to put Roller Sports in the 2012 Olympic Games!
And just for fun, this occasion is also a perfect excuse to connect with your skating or non-skating pals with a cute roller skating e-greeting card!
Besides the weather…
Southern California: Even in California, indoor skating gains appeal when the autumn chill and reduced daylight begin taking their toll. Chris Aable enjoys skating on Wednesday nights at Moonlight RollerRink in Glendale, California (not far from Hollywood). “It is only $5.50 for 2.5 hours of skating. If you ask me, that's not a lot of money to pay for 2.5 hours of fun and socializing. Also, a lot of celebrities are regulars there, such as Leonardo DeCaprio and Gary Coleman who I saw just last week. People pay a lot more than $5.50 to see them at the movies, much less in person.” (Just to clarify, that is not Chris in the Seattle photo below.)
Pacific NorthWest: A very sociable skate scene occurs regularly in the Seattle, Washington area. Trish Alexander--certified instructor and owner of the Skate Journeys Web site--has built a growing community that meets regularly for fun and exercise. Here's a shot of Trish flanked by pals Doris and Pete at Skate King in Bellvue, WA where Trish hosts frequent lessons and events.
East Coast: Patricia Stinson is a resident of Englewood NJ. She prepared for her first summer of outdoors inline skating by taking indoor lessons at a place called The Rink. She was astounded by the other skaters she found there. “Have you ever been to a senior skate night at a rink with organ music? Well, they skated so beautifully gliding, dipping, swaying, and twirling around, I mean these people can skate like they skated in their youth!” she wrote in an email.
“They did partner skating, and dances like the tango and waltz. It was so inspiring to see them. And you can believe I checked this: many women, all slim, tummy-less, wore cute skater skirts and dresses. They had the smallest waists. Even a woman with large hips had this little waist. The men weren't packing any extra tonnage either. All slim. They skated so effortlessly.”
“Everybody had their own expensive quad skates. I wanted to chuck my roller blades, but of course, my lessons were for outdoor skating, so I had to gamely blade on. I’m sure the people kept wondering, ‘Why struggle with those blades when the quads are so much better?’ But watching how they do it gave me another lesson in how to skate. They just dipped and glided from one side to the other in a continuous swirling pattern.”
Indoors advantages: Even as Patricia progressed to outdoors skating with growing confidence and skill, she still sees definite benefits to skating at a rink. “There's the music, the camaraderie and the smooth skating. Outside there's the wind, sun and all kinds of obstacles.” She decided to ask some of the other indoor skaters why they weren’t outdoors. Maybe you can relate to some of their reasons:
- Control of the space
- No small dogs, small children, walkers with cell phones, speeding bicycles
- No cars
- Skate theme music (organ or other music is inspiring)
- Friendships formed at the rink
- Open space for practicing and mastering techniques
- Injuries are less severe on wooden surface
- “Quad skating is superior, smoother, more creative, faster....”
If you decide to look up your local skating center, make sure to check out their schedule while you're at it. You'll find figure skating lessons, free skate sessions, adults-only, youth hockey and more. These days, if you can't find it online, that information is often available from a telephone recording.