I love skating, but I don’t so much love the stylized figure/artistic stuff.  If the figure skating people still taught and tested and competed school figures, I’d be all over it, but it’s darn near impossible to find patch time anywhere (especially in central Illinois), and not many coaches are prepared to teach figures. And some of those edges just seem a bit scary without a spotter.

I love the feeling of going fast, but I’m not competitive-race-fast, so speed skating isn’t that attractive.  I love the idea of skating miles and miles of frozen canals, like they do in the Netherlands — distance skating on long blades, basically.  But where in the midwest am I going to find something like that?


I keep hearing about roller derby, and every time I do, a little spark goes off inside. And then I overthink it, decide it’s not practical, I’m too big, I’m not athletic, blah blah blah fishcakes.  Whatever.  So last week when there was an open skate in town, I went.  Just to skate, I told myself; just to see if I could remember what it felt like to go fast, to feel a little tough and wild and not-shy and even a little bit intimidating.  And it was AWESOME. Just being on skates again felt awesome. But it’s not enough — I want to see whether derby might be even more awesome. For some reason, right now I’m not scared of it, and I want to keep moving before I lose my nerve!

So I bought skates!!  I don’t know exactly what this means, but I’m taking a leap that I’ll either use them or sell them.  I’ll order protective gear soon as well; no sense putting off safety.  I don’t think I can get into this summer’s recruitment cycle for the local league, but that’s ok; they’re doing tryouts in September, and if I can get out and skate a lot, practice falling somewhere where I won’t tear up my skates, then maybe I’ll go for it without the practices, just for kicks. At least I can skate in the meantime, and work on fundamentals.  Between my skating experience and YouTube videos, I think I can learn a lot on my own.  hopefully.

Not surprisingly, quad skates feel very different from figure skates/dance blades, and very different from rollerblades as well.  But the odd thing is that even though the first 20 minutes felt bizarre and impossible and like I’d made some big mistake in putting them on, over the next hour or so all that strangeness vanished and it felt like I was back in the old church parking lot again.

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