Recently I was skating to the health club on a beautiful afternoon. It was sunny and warm. The late afternoon sun filtered through the trees. As I pulled up to the club, I saw in the picture windows above, a line of joggers and climbers on the aerobic machines. What were these people thinking? Why were they sweating inside, when they could be out here enjoying the outdoors and getting a great workout, too?
Now as health clubs go, the view from mine is one of the best-a sweeping panorama that includes Mt. Diablo, the highest peak in the area. Mt. Diablo can put on a pretty good show, especially at dawn and dusk. But there's nothing like being out there in the world.
Now don't get me wrong. If the weather is bad, if it's dark out or if time is short, aerobic machines are a great way to get a quick workout. I do it all the time. However, when the conditions are good, I want to be outdoors! And this desire is not just aesthetic. Skating makes exercise fun. Twenty minutes on a stationary bike and I'm ready to go home. After twenty minutes on skates, I'm just getting warmed up, so I exercise more.
You don't need to skate exclusively in a straight line to get a good workout, either. You can practice hill skating or work on your tricks and skills. Just keep moving and keep your heart rate up. I love to mix it up when I can-slalom turns, forward and backward cross-overs, figure-eights, jumps, circle and power stops, whatever. I'm having fun, improving my skills and getting a great whole-body workout in the fresh air.
Here's another thought. Not everyone has this option, but why not skate to the gym or to work rather than driving? Think of the conversations you'll start while taking off or putting on your gear. Maybe you'll make a weekend skate date. Plus, you can mention The Orbit, and Get Rolling and our web site....