I delight in emailed progress reports from skaters who are using Get Rolling successfully. This summer, I enjoyed ongoing correspondence with Michael, a Russian immigrant from Montreal, Canada, and Andreas, a resident of Athens, Greece. They agreed to let me share emails describing their first experiences on inline skates. English is a second (or third or fourth) language for these two, but I found their enthusiastic progress reports quite poetic at times. (Forgive me if these sometimes read like fan letters--they sort of are!)
Michael in Montreal
I am 45 years old.
I purchased inline skates 3 days ago (Rollerblade ALU7. My son was amazed how cool they are.)
No words. I have a new challenge in my life. During 3 days I reached some results. From 5 minutes I can skate up to 30 minutes without stopping. Total, I spend 3 hours per day on skates.
On second day I found your web page. Every sentence of your instructions had a big value for me. And I understood how "funny" are instructions from amateurs. I didn't have any experience before.
Liz, I buy the book right now :)
By the way, can I apply inline skates skills to the ice skates learning? I plan to start it this year. I am 9 years in Montreal and never tried. My son doing very well on both. But I don't need his advice. I will have a super book !!! Thanks.
Today is my 4th day. I wake up at 6 and go to our arena. We have near a very good open hockey field under the roof. I train 2 hours: 20 minutes work, 10 minutes rest. And I try to do it in the evening. Yesterday after work I was too tired. It's new load for me. I realized that. So I told myself it's not the skates, it's myself...
But today I feel again very enthusiastic :). It's like drug for me. I am director of MIS department and professional sax player. When I start to do something that is interesting for me, I try to perfect it as much as I can.
It's interesting how far I can go with your book. I don't want to jump or make crazy tricks. My goals are to feel free and do good on intermediate level. I replaced my jogging to inline skating and feel more fun.
For now just one minus: I cannot listen to jazz when I am rolling because I am concentrating on what I am doing.
I'm still trying to practice 2 hours net time per day. The minimum was 1 hour. I do it in the morning and in the evening. Stretches first. Balance on one leg. Right breathing, etc...
Yesterday night I was alone on summer hockey field. Guys just finish hockey game. In 10 minutes started a terrible thunder storm. The rain hit the metal roof with a noise of fighter jet. It was about 40 minutes. Bright light was on. Air full of ozone. I enjoyed my skating. Rain stopped around 9:00 PM. I went home under weak rain. Ice hockey players with their big bags started to leave hockey arena. Definitely this winter I will try ice skating.
Andreas in Athens
Hi, remember me?
[How could I forget? Andreas went out of his way to set up a new PayPal account so he could order the Kristy Yamaguchi video, and eventually Get Rolling.--Liz]
Well, I'm here to talk you about my experiences, which I hope are rewarding.
- I skate! (joking) Well, I have managed to stand (still), travel at the speed of ~10mph; successfully stop with kinda weird ways sometimes, depending the situation; turn a couple of ways, though they need work; and most important, fall.
- My body hurts! And I thought because of the swimming I would be somekind fit!
How about this?! I work better with some exercises from the intermediate section [of Get Rolling] rather than the basics! Can't explain it! I have managed to do the T- drag successfully a couple of times but it needs work. Whatever I do, it usually ends in a rotation. Yes, you tell how to correct it, but different saying than doing, right?
Researching other methods of stopping--I know this is stupid, but you didn't think of me using the heelbrake, uh? Maybe later, when I will fully understand its value. Nothing more but the basics. Again, the help you've provided is invaluable, specially when I have no one to teach me, your instructions simple and understandable. That is all.
Sorry for my confused way of thinking -You should see me, I'm lots of fun!!! See you!
I am writing you in order to make you somekind proud, I hope. First of all, I would like to thank you about the dedication. (I haven't done that, have I?) It really does count to me.
Due to my enormous lack of patience and my lack of knowing English, I haven't even now read your book entirely (combine: dictionary). Please don't blame me being lazy! But even that way, I've read the first 105 pages (and some more at the end) and I have put down *almost* all of it.
Sorry for writing you so scarce, but here we have Olympics. And nowadays it's not a big joyful parade. 15 days (already!) strolling up and down the Aigaion Pelagos (I work for the Greek war navy) in order to protect. And the usual travels haven't given me much time to practice.
BUT, I have practiced. And I would like to share with you my conclusions.
- Believe me, the fear to pay the cars while you stop is a great instructor (yes, my first time out)--the greatest! The moving cars here at least are very careful and you must hit them, not they you!
- That “instructor” taught me how to stop more effective!
- For me, worked that in order to succeed a T-drag you must not lift your back foot but kinda use it as steering wheel and drag it behind the forward foot. The exact procedure: when you do the basic stride without pushing, when the--let's say--the right foot reaches the furthest back, then drag it behind the other. [This way you don't get flat spots on your wheels.--Liz]
- Spin stop (very difficult) just bend more your knees and extend your arms with your elbows bent. The weight center usually does the rest!
I don't want to correct you, but I've seen both from others and my self that when you master inline skating you usually forget the problems you had until you mastered it. [Andreas also offered tips for improving the Get Rolling web site.--Liz]
Lastly, I can't believe it myself! I just touched the skates and felt the urge to use them. They just connected to joy.