Scripted for an Australian Community TV program to be launched in 2006
bought my first pair of skates back in 1992, I had no idea how much the
time spent learning to enjoy them would change my life and my lifestyle!
In the beginning, like most everyone
else, I was pretty wobbly. By practicing a couple of times a week,
I soon felt more coordinated on flat pavement. But it was still several
more months before I could properly brake. There were no books
or lessons at that time and I had to figure it out for myself. That’s
when I found myself writing and publishing my own book to help other
Rolling, the Beginner’s Guide
to Inline Skating.
A year after that I became a certified inline
skating instructor and have been teaching people in the San Francisco
area ever since. Now,
giving my students the gift of braking is one
of the most satisfying things I do!
Living the inline lifestyle
On sunny summer days, I pack my lunch and clothes in a backpack and roll
off to my job 8 miles up the bike path from home. My company has a shower
and lockers where I can store my skates during the day. In the winter
too dark or cold to commute, I can take a quick lunchtime roll in the
live in a pretty small town, and it's fun to run errands on skates. I
visit the post office to pick up my mail, roll right into my bank to
make deposits, and do the same to pick up prescriptions
at the pharmacy. Some
stores let me inside on my skates, but others ask that I remove them
first. No problem!
My original interest in inline skating came from a love of alpine skiing.
I'd read an article claiming that using ski form on
skates translated to excellent skills on the hill. Well, that didn't
happen after my first year
on inlines but once I mastered slalom turns on the pavement,
my snow skiing improved dramatically, and still is today!
Skating these simple lifestyle activities makes
my life more fun, healthy and exciting. But when I'm really feeling serious
about fitness, I put on my 5-wheel skates, grab a water bottle and sunscreen,
and hit our local converted rail trail for a 15 or 20-mile roll. I often
find it hard to believe that something that feels so fluid and graceful
could actually be burning calories and giving my heart a good workout.
And I've always found much joy in physically participating in the
beauty of nature, rather than just observing it.
Chasing the horizon
first inline adventures were seeking out more bike paths I could explore
on skates. In fact, I ended up writing my second book about what I found. California Inline Skating is
now an online
tour guide where
published my notes and ratings on 300 great skate tours. That book led
me to a job with Zephyr Adventures,
where I found myself guiding inline tourists in Holland and
teaching Learn-to-Skate camps (now known as Camp
Rollerblade) in the
more ways to enjoy skates than I have tried or that you might imagine.
Do a Google search on any of the bold terms below and you'll see what
Going beyond the skate touring that I do, most people
know about aggressive
where young skaters
perfect their aerial, stair riding and grinding skills on ramps,
rails and any other available hardscape. Roller
very popular with kids and adults alike. But did you know that there
are both roller
basketball and roller
One company invented a special wind sail that harnesses
the wind for the skater holding on. Another perfected a toe-pic for an
inline frame on a figure skating boot to help with artistic jumps
and spins. There are off-road skates and special long-frame skates for
record-setting downhill races. Who knows what’s coming next?
That's what I mean about life-changing.
Don’t say I didn’t