“I was a competitive ice skater when I was twelve. I took up inline skating in 1994 and began teaching Roller Fitness in 1996. I'm 48, and love my life,” says Trish Alexander, introducing herself on her Blog, Conversations on Skates.
Trish is the kind of person who finds the FUN in everything she does, including skating and teaching skating. Her sunny outlook is infectious, and she brightens up soggy Seattle with Skate Journeys, one of the most successful inline skate schools in the country. It boasts two dozen certified instructors offering nine levels of instruction every week. Trish is a talented innovator who develops creative programs and camps, and even set up a scholarship in 2009 to send two local skaters to a Freestyle Slalom workshop presented by the world-famous Naomi Grigg.
Total newbies are welcome at Skate Journeys, while experienced skaters can choose programs to suit their interests, including Marathon Training, Roller Fitness, Ski Conditioning, Freestyle Slaloms, Artistic skating, Indoor Race and more. For students who live outside the Seattle area, Skate Journeys offers distance learning via YouTube. You provide a clip of your skating and then receive an email with feedback or a personalized YouTube response.
In July, Trish took over as Director of the United Skate Schools Group. “The USSG certifies skaters to become instructors, offers continuing education for already certified instructors, and helps nationwide and internationally to build the larger community of skating, whether they take lessons or not,” she explains. The USSG also manages annual liability insurance renewals for my own Get Rolling Skate School and is the source of the Inline Instructor Search Tool that I’ve shared with hundreds of people over the years.
Thanks to her hours of volunteer work before becoming Director, Trish knows where the USSG has been and how she envisions its future. My hope is that all of us—teacher, student, or even skater-wanna-be—will not only benefit from her activities with the USSG but join in her effort to enlarge and continue to enthuse a fit and fun-loving community of skaters across the globe. As Trish likes say in closing her emails, “Wheeeeeeeee!”
Hasta la Vista, Janet!
No mention of the USSG is complete without acknowledging the years of hard work contributed by its previous Director and founder, Janet Sheehan. “As much as I have wanted to pursue my vision for the USSG, my time and resources have been limited since the birth of my daughter,” she explained in May.
Janet invested an immeasurable amount of time and energy into the USSG by designing and managing the website; organizing conferences; creating instructor manuals, examination programs and guidelines; maintaining member benefits; and developing a positive environment for us to interact and grow our businesses. Janet and I remain friends to this day.