One activity I can definitely vouch for is rollerblading aka inline skating. I had a pair of roller blades when I was an early teen and my buddy Glen and I would roller blade all around the city in which I grew up. It was awesome and those memories have always stuck with me, because of the supreme feel good vibes that engaging in the art of rollerblading provided. Even after I became a Mama Bear, I still continued 6 weeks postpartum from an emergency C-Section as a way to get my pre baby body back in shape and to regenerate those good vibe cells to heal my incision. I took a small hiatus from it when I lived in Mexico because the terrain was not well suited where we were living, but upon return to Vancouver that boasts that “oh so sweet action” seawall, I have returned to it with a new roller blading lil co-pilot and I whole heartedly encourage any ambulatory human to at least go out and give it a try.
So let’s roll!
What is it and How do you Start?
The best way I describe rollerblading aka inline skating is essentially like ice-skating, except rather than blades on ice, you have wheels on pavement. If you are keen to try something new, like this super fun endeavour, but are not familiar at all with the recreational activity and not sure where to start, there are bike shops that usually allow you to rent a pair for a day or a few hours so you can check it out and see if it is something you want to invest in.
I was scoping out whether my little man was suited to get into it, without having to make the monetary investment so I took him to the local sports shop in the large mall near our home and he tried on a pair, accompanied with a helmet and he tested them in the store. The experience was actually pretty hilarious and the mall floors are ideal for a smooth ride on the wheels which is hugely advantageous if you are new to the experience. If you are an adult, the investment itself in a good solid pair is not overly astronomical, but if you are investing for your child, who should, if indulging regularly in outdoor physical activity, be growing at a good rate you want to ensure that the money spent will be of value to you.
The cool thing about trying out rollerblading is that if you want to give it a go, the initial investment for a good pair of inline skates can be made for in and around the hundred dollar mark. I have a sweet pair of K2 skates that actually adorns the name Helena and they are all kinds of cool 🙂
Understanding How it will Affect You is Empowering
Engaging in outdoor recreational sports involves being in your body and relying on the esteem of yourself and your capacity to govern your own physical abilities. It can sometimes be an overwhelming task for some who do not keep a solid or consistent exercise regime. Human beings are creatures of habit and your habits dictate your life. If your body is eating the same foods, and doing the same activities day in and day out then it becomes habitual – you are functioning in a way that your body is now accustomed to.
What is super cool about engaging in a variety of outdoor recreational activities for adults of any age and especially your growing and developing children is that you end up utilizing all parts of your body and add variety and expansion in the way your body performs. Using different muscle groups, engaging the body and its different parts, as well as the neural circuits that you fire when learning a new skill creates a stronger mind body awareness. This is a result of the concentration and focus you need to take to ensure that you succeed in the endeavour itself, but also in an ever-changing environment which utilizes more of your brain. Your neural wiring in relation to your body is important. A good portion of your success in any activity that involves physical activity is your mindset about it. So no excuses or reasons why you cannot, but rather a good list of your capabilities and a list as to why it will go right which should include an opportunity to have a good laugh.
If you are a busy working person and an invested parent you are to be commended for constantly spending your energy on the management and success of those aspects of your life. It is imperative that self care is implemented into your life so that you are able to manage your life with greater ease and joy. Roller blading is a great way to have some fun. It is human nature to want to be accepted and not look ridiculous engaging in a new activity but if you are feeling good about you and your willingness to try new things and have some fun, then it doesn’t matter how you look or what you are doing. When you are in your own good vibe, you are empowered and then your fears, excuses and dare I say insecurities, will naturally disappear.
Know that with this sport, you will have to test your balance, your coordination, your focus and your courage. These challenges should be embraced and seen as gains. Testing oneself in the area of physical and mental expansion pays huge. Fundamentally, we were made to move. To survive. To thrive. Our brains have had the capacity to create a very modern lifestyle of convenience where you can live perfectly well not going outside at all or taking advantage of how insanely cool and epic your body can perform. There is so much value psychologically, mentally, physically and even emotionally when you choose to exercise and test your own mind and body. The benefits are exponential and so woven throughout the entirety of your life and way of being in the world. And yet, it is so simple.
Preventable Injuries – Respect Yourself & Stay Protected
Always wear a helmet. Always. Some people think that helmets are uncool and make you look ridiculous. To those people I say, you look a lot cooler to me when you demonstrate self-respect and intelligence by protecting your brain – your life’s most major operating system next to the heart. To me, you look ridiculous if you are not wearing a helmet. I have 3 brothers, two of whom have had pretty severe head injuries. I also witnessed my father have blood drained out of the front of his brain through a tube from a hematoma after hitting his head on an overhead airplane compartment, and then seeing the subsequent changes in him after that incident. Trust me when I say that I have direct knowledge and experience that the brain and its health and protection is something to be aware and mindful about. Our brains are the most sophisticated technology there is, next to our hearts. It is worth your while to engage in some protection for this superior operating system.
If you are new to the blades, then I also recommend wrist/hand guards. They have saved many a palm scrape for me on days when it would rain on my way home from work but the hope is that you stay upright and do not crash down on your hands – I am a pretty hardcore rollerblader so it comes with the territory for me. Knee pads I do not wear, but as a beginner I would recommend knee and elbow pads so that if you find you do enjoy it but need to dial in your coordination and balance a little more, these protective items will save you some scrapes and keep you motivated. I am not a “no pain no gain” kinda gal, but there is resilience and strength and empowerment in not letting an activity defeat you.
So Let’s Roll – Where Can We Go?
When I first started roller blading I was younger and living at home which was situated in the base center of a cul-de-sac. We had a smooth driveway and Ontario is big and has many well paved and smooth roads. Sidewalks can be tricky for first timers as the cracks offer a bump so you have an extra terrain aspect to consider. if you are just starting out, your driveway or if you don’t have one any wide space with smooth terrain is ideal. Most major cities have bicycle routes and parkways and small towns or country land usually boast a main expansive road, anywhere that the pavement is smooth. As you progress and your endurance develops, the terrain is less of a problem and more of a fun course to navigate. If your city or town boasts a roller rink, then that would be a great place to get your feet wet, so to speak. Otherwise, any solid surface, preferably nice and smooth is ideal.
So no excuses! It’s time to get rolling! Get on out there and have some fun!! Any questions or comments are most welcome!