Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy 2012 from Sara Skates!

Happy holidays my readers!  I hope the holiday season is treating you well.  It can be stressful, and also limits skating opportunities <-- dislike  I have been getting it in wherever I can.  I think I told you I've been going to Skate Depot on a more regular basis, it's been incredible.  Saturday is much more mellow than Thursday but it's what I can attend so I am used to it now.  The crowd is getting to know me and I've had lots of new partners, which is so exciting.  To me it's more about being accepted up there than the act of couple skating.   The music can be frustrating because it's so much slower than San Diego.  But I have found ways to skate to it that work for me.  Side Note:  Check out this awesome image circa 1937

Backwards couple skating in Cerritos has been a trip.  That is very different from the way guys skate down here.  Plus backwards skating is a big hot button for me right now anyway.  I am nervous from the minute I get asked to backwards skate until it's over.  But I have to do it, can't look like a chicken.  Sometimes my nervousness gives my partner the jitters, just because I'm so jumpy.  I focus on doing my step and a lot of the guys up there do all sorts of fancy stuff behind me, not sure exactly what they're doing.  But I've always been taught to keep doing the step, no matter what.  That's what I do.  All while trying to relax hahaha.  The way we couple skate is not unlike the picture below.

I skated at Skate World for family night this past Friday and it was a mess.  I think I've been going to Cerritos too much.  I couldn't stand the music, it was just painful.  It seemed like all they played was Kesha and LMFAO, no joke.  I know it's for the kids but that crap is hard to skate to.  I was hungry for a super slow Cerritos jam.  Plus the kids, I am not used to skating with them anymore.  I used to skate with them all the time back in the day when I was coming up.  Now I only attend Adult sessions.  Man they were just all over the place, going the wrong direction, cutting across the middle of the floor suddenly.  I found that super annoying.  I could only tolerate two hours and I know I didn't get a proper sweat on.  I just couldn't really go at my top speed with those nutty kids everywhere.

Trying so hard to get up to Cerritos to ring the new year in.  I want to so bad!  Hopefully I can get my ride situation worked out.  It will be such a disappointment if I'm not on my eights when the ball drops.  Working it, I can make it happen.  I hope you have a nice farewell to 2011.  2012 is going to be off the chain.  Thanks to all my faithful readers for the past three years.   Check out this roller girl, I've come so far!  The best is yet to come.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

In Love with my Eights

Hello out there in the blog world!  I am absolutely thrilled to be writing a regular old blog post.  No more off topic entries or horror stories about my injuries.  In short, I took two months off following my accident in September.  It sucked, I hated not skating.  But I was messed up and needed the break.  Now I am finally working again and yes, skating again.  People close to me are alarmed and concerned.  My doctor's advice was to "please, please never roller skate again".  Sigh.  Where's the sense of adventure?  I am so passionate about skating, there's no way I can stop.  Sorry, worrywarts.

It's hard to describe just how great it is to skate again.  I guess it's because of the forced break, it's made me appreciate it so much more.  Feels JUST AMAZING.  The first few weeks were understandably shaky.  I definitely have lost some of my confidence.  But it's not scary - what is scary is backwards skating since that's how I got hurt.  Session skating and roller dancing, I haven't hurt myself doing those things so I have no fear.  But after the initial few weeks, my confidence is back where it was and I feel like a million bucks when I'm on my wheels.

As for backwards, I am really afraid of it.  In some ways, I just want to forget how to do  it so I can relearn the skill.  Obviously I was doing something wrong.  My friends want to help me.  I have done some very, very slow and careful stuff.  What I have done is backwards couple skating, lots of that.  It may sound silly but I feel safer with a partner. If I were to fall back, I would land on them.  Of course I only skate with highly competent skaters that know how to make sure we don't fall.  We haven't.  Just doing the couples skating has made me feel better about backwards altogether.  I know I will do it by myself again one day. It's just too soon right now.

I've been going to Adult Night at Skate World, of course, but what's even better is I've been able to get up to Cerritos almost on a regular basis!  It's so completely awesome.  Fingers crossed that my ride stays solid.  I've started doing downtown with the skaters up there and they are welcoming me with open arms.  I love it.  They do the same roller dancing we do but with different names and slightly different moves.  It's a trip.  I go up there and pick up new steps and then I show my crew when I come back home.

That's about it, and of course skating at the Bay every weekend.  Been doing a lot more teaching there, I like it.  We are always trying to recruit new skaters to learn roller dancing. It's a dying art!  You know you want to learn.  Hit me up.

Me and my buddy, Paul, getting our Halloween roll on

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview with Skate Lisa

Hi out there, I know I have been quiet but I am busy recuperating.  It's almost been two months so I am totally getting there!  In the meantime, enjoy a piece about one of my very favorite skaters, Skate Lisa. :)

Skate Lisa.  You may have heard about this dynamic quad skater, seen her videos on youtube, or even had the pleasure of skating with her at Venice Beach (she's only been skating there for over a decade).  Everyone should know more about Lisa, so this blogger asked her to take a few minutes out of her busy day and answer some questions.  She was completely gracious, willing and helpful.

Sara Skates:  Talk about your earliest roller skating memory.
Skate Lisa:  My earliest memory was opening my first pair of roller skates on my 10th Birthday, I had the biggest smile on my face, it was like magic shoes.

SS:  I am so excited to interview a pro like yourself.
SL:  I don't consider myself a pro, I just worked very hard for years and got noticed by TV producers etc., Riedell spotted me all over Europe, America, etc. and decided to sponser me, to which I am eternally grateful.

SS:  I know you're from London, is that where you live?
SL:  I am on the road quite a lot but not normally for months at a time.  London is my home but my heart admittedly is in California as I lived there for several years.

SS:  Talk about a day in the life of Skate Lisa.
SL:  A day in the life of me involves training at the gym, checking all my emails, and I quite often stretch and skate a bit at home too.  I always make time to visit my parents who have been wonderful in supporting what I do. 

SS:  Are there any skate moves you don't know how to do?
SL:  I am always up for learning new stuff. You will quite often see me at Rinks alone practicing new moves.

SS:  What is your diet like?
SL:  My diet is clean most of the time, lots of fish, rice, protein, vegetables -CHOCOLATE sometimes lol

SS:  What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
SL:  My greatest accomplishment to date is having skated in so many different places and met so many different people.

SS:  Do you have a motto you live by?

SS:  It was such an honor to meet you and get a little insight into who you are. Do you have any last words you want to leave my readers with?
SL:  So many girls are scared to let go and be themselves, I have been told that this is what makes me stand out as a skater.  When I was 10 years old, I never dreamt of doing what I do now, but something inside always pushed me. GO FOR IT GIRLS!

Big thanks to Skate Lisa for allowing me this interview.  Can't wait to see her again soon in Cerritos or down here at the beach. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Got Hurt

Hi blog world, it's with a heavy heart that I write this post.  I have not been able to update my blog because I suffered a brain injury roller skating on September 6, 2011.  First off, don't be freaked out.  If I wasn't okay, I wouldn't be writing this post.  I did get hurt but I don't want anyone thinking extreme stuff.  Let's face it, you can get yourself killed roller skating.  And walking outside, and riding in a car, etc.  So with that disclaimer, my story.  September 6 was Adult Night and it was a great, fun night.  I remember lots of awesome moments.  Nero was there and we did plenty of couple skating.  9:30 is the normal time for the beginners backwards special.  I remember going out.  They were playing "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers.  I was doing my usual backwards step, I went around a few times.

Then the worst happened.  I took a normal step back and somehow completely lost my balance.  It's hard to describe because I don't really know what happened.  I fell back and basically landed completely on my head.  My skates somehow flew from under me.  I didn't hit my butt, my elbows, not any other part but my poor head.  I completely blacked out.  Friends have described the sickening sound of my skull hitting the wood as being difficult to erase from memory. The next thing I remember is being on my stomach, looking at the lines painted on the rink floor.  My glasses were off.  One of my best friends, Wonder Boy, was laying next to me, trying to get me to wake up.  He helped me to my feet.  My head was in terrible pain and there was blood on the floor. It was obvious I needed medical help.  I felt completely disoriented and confused.

The next few days after that pass in a blur.  I was admitted to the ICU at the hospital.  I had fractured my skull and had bleeding on one of my frontal lobes from the jarring to my brain.  Although I had cracked my head open, the crack was not deep and I luckily did not need stitches.  If they had done stitches, they would have shaved my lovely blond tresses.  Thank goodness for small things.

Anyway, it's been 12 days sicne the injury.  I feel a little better each day.  I'm eager to skate and also completely terrified.  I really can't believe I got hurt like this, this is not a usual roller skating injury.  It's fairly common to hear of broken wrists, bruised tailbones.  Normally if I was backwards skating and I felt like I was losing my balance, I would turn around.  I would take a step back.  Why I didn't, I will never know.

I sure as hell am not quitting skating.  But I have to take my time getting back into it.  Obviously I have a new found fear for when I'm skating.  Never worried about cracking my head open before!  Imagine if I was at a rink with a concrete floor. Shudder.  But I do need to make sure I'm good before I go back.  The biggest side effect for me is dizzy spells.  I also have completely lost my sense of smell and taste.  Absolutely bizarre.  I taste absolutely nothing, I have no clue if I have bad breath, I don't know if the fruit is ripe or not.  I can't even taste bacon for pete's sake.  The doctor said to give that a year to return.  Brain injuries are no joke.

So the blog will continue, but not as often.  And I can't do the pretty pictures right now, I'm sorry.  My home pc is kinda janky.  I will still be skating, I will get back to the level I was at and beyond that.  I can't wait to get to Cerritos.  But I have other things I must consider, like my job and family.  Yes I have a real job that I'm not able to go to right now.  And I have a family that means more to me than anything in this world.  I never really thought a three hour session at the rink could end with me in the hospital, or worse.  Definitely a new perspective.

I love you guys and thank you always for your support.  You'll hear from me again very soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Skate Love

Good morning out there in the blogosphere!  I have a bunch of news to report so I will get down to it.  First off, I was up in Skate Depot a couple weeks ago as I had told you.  Oh man, it was just so wonderful.  I know I say that everytime but I can't help it, it seems like it's better each time I go.  Anyway, I went up with Nero and we worked a lot on our couple skating.  Yeah we are totally doing awesome, we didn't fall the whole night and we are perfectly synchronized.  It's awesome.  Now we are doing a lot of backwards couple skating, it's super exciting.  But beyond that, with my solo skating, I just had so much fun.  There is a different calibre of skating expertise up there and it feels amazing to keep up.

In other news, we had a roller skating celebrity visit Skate This at the Bay a few weeks ago.  Skate Lisa appeared out of no where and showed us her awesome moves!  It was pretty awesome.  She is something else.  She's like this little tiny lady but she has mad swag.  Totally amazing jam skate moves which she puts her own twist on.  She was very down to earth and took a bunch of pictures with us.  Apparently she travels all around the world for Riedell, promoting roller skating.  She had these crazy skates on that she said cost $1000!  Nuts.  Anyway, I am very excited to annouce that she has granted me an interview for this blog!  Is that cool or what.  I am super excited.  I'm interviewing her next week so stay tuned for a great piece on Skate Lisa!

I did a roller skating photo shoot with Edwin Real.  I wanted to have pictures of me skating since I am so passionate about it and it means so much to me.  It's such a big part of my life and I don't even have any evidence of it, except for the videos that I did recently.  So we did that last week and let me tell you, the pics came out great!  He did an amazing job.  I will be honest - I didn't take a lot of chances during the photo shoot because I had a grip of people watching me and I seriously did not want to fall.  But he still got some really nice shots of me.  The reaction to the photos has been really heartwarming, sort of like a new rush of support from my friends and family.  <3

Exciting stuff going on with the blog!  I really appreciate any one that takes a minute out of their day to read my ramblings.  Pretty cool.

Photo Credits:  Miss Magnolia and Sushinadi

Thursday, August 11, 2011

See Sara Skate!

Hello out there in the skating world!  I have been having the absolute best time skating.  I know I sound like a broken record, but I can't help it.  Roller skating is too awesome! I have some new skating adventures to report on.

I skated up in Cerritos last week.  I went up with Nero so it gave the two of us lots of opportunities to practice our couples skating.  We did a fantastic job and neither of us fell the whole night.  We did a bunch of backwards couple skating, which was really exciting because I have only done that a couple times before.  Once we established the steps, we were golden and our steps were perfectly synchronized. Being up there at that rink, the music and people were as incredible as ever.  I saw tons of awesome skating.  I was really in the zone the whole night, and my confidence was way up.  I skated over in the fast lane a good amount of the time and held my own.  Some of my friends that do downtown were also up there and it was super fun to do routines in the middle.  We got a lot of kudos.

After doing this blog for more than a year, I actually have some video of me skating.  Now calm down, because it's not like a proper skating vid or anything.  But Paul and I did make some instructional videos to teach downtown, and this is them.  Shooting the video was a good time.  It was a gorgeous sunny day.  I wish I hadn't been chewing gum, but I can fix that next time around.  I was honored that Paul asked me to do the videos with him.

Roller Dance Instruction #1

Roller Dance Instruction #2

Adult Night at Skate World has been great, as usual.  No place like home.  Last night the power went out in the middle of the session.  What a trip!  Absolute darkness.  Luckily no one got hurt as it was towards the end of the session.  I was in the middle of the rink with Paul doing routines so I did hold on to him for dear life for a split second haha.  But of course your eyes adjust after a sec.  And everyone in that place had their cell phone to use as a flashlight.  Then they told us to leave and the excitement was over.  But a memorable night for sure.

I'm going back to Cerritos in a couple weeks *excited* can't wait to do it again.

Photo Credit to Fashion Edit

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Eight Wheels of Happiness

Happy weekend out there in the blogosphere!  It's a gorgeous, sunny day in southern California and I can't wait to get out and skate in it.  I have been having such a blast skating lately.  Not to say it isn't always good, I've just really been in my zone in the past week or two.  I skated up in Cerritos last week, and..drum roll please....I didn't fall!  Woo hoo, yeah me! Thank God.  That fall last time was awful.   Anyway, it was a great Adult Night.  The DJ was playing slow music pretty much the whole night.  He seemed like he was in a romantic mood.  I had to make the most of it, even though I prefer more upbeat stuff.   The crowd was awesome, as always, perfectly in time with the music and grooving all night.

I skated the Trios special with a couple of my friends, and it was pretty damn terrifying lol.  It is only my second time doing it.  There were lots and lots of people on the floor and being in the middle of the trio, it really feels like you are going to completely whack into the people you are coming up on.  It's a bit hard to explain.  But up in Cerritos, all the specials are for three songs and that felt like an eternity when I was out there skating the trios.  I was so ready to quit after one song, but I hung in there.  It's terrifying but also very exciting.  I would definitely do it again. And check out this awesome 1922 postcard I found online.  This is exactly how trios are done!

I recently learned this new backwards step, it took me FOREVER to master it but finally, I have! Such a good feeling.  Everyone knows how to do it and it's so awesome to be able to join the others and follow the step correctly.  We always do this step to that song "Forget Me Nots" and they play that at the rink every week.  I also learned how to do the cha cha recently, another type of skating line dance.  It's so cool!

I've been watching some roller skating movies lately.  I watched Hell on Wheels, which was a very good roller derby documentary.  Most roller skating movies out there are about roller derby, but I did watch Xanadu.  I hadn't seen it since I was a kid.  Pretty dated but I liked the skating.  I watched a ridiculous movie called Kansas City Bomber, starring Raquel Welch as the Bomber!  Very 70's and silly.

I'm going to Cerritos twice in August, it's so awesome!  I can't wait.  Until then, see you at Skate World.

(Photo Credits to Style Me Pretty and Foxy's Antiques )

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hello Summer

Hello out there in the blog world! It's a hot sunny day in San Diego and I am behind on my blog, as usual.  I'm a very busy girl so please bear with me.  I am home from my trip to Vegas last week.  Man that stuff goes so fast!  I shouldn't complain about the 85 degree heat here since it was a cool 115 in Vegas.  Vegas was awesome, I had such a great time.  I did all sorts of non-skating things so I won't go into that.  I was so tempted to put on my skates and skate the Strip and at the same time, not tempted at all.  The hordes out there were pretty frightening and I would imagine that it is illegal to rollerskate on the Strip.  But a girl can dream.

I did hit Adult Night at Crystal Palace on Sunday.  Their Adult Night is strange because they have an all day session on Sundays from 10-10 or something like that.  They just stick the Adult Night at the end, from 7-10.  So the kids can stay, which is annoying.  There were some tiny kids there and yes, they could skate but not good like the adults.  The music was hitting it but the crowd was tiny.  It was the night before the 4th of July so it may not always be like that.  I made the best of it and saw many of the same regulars as previous trips.  I saw some very cool shuffle skating going on and of course I did my downtown thing.  San Diego style, yo.

It's so hot now in San Diego, it couldn't be more perfect weather for skating at the beach.  Love it!  The awesome thing is that I just got my boy some roller skates of his own so I really want to help him get his skating legs this summer.  As a small child, being able to roller skate well brings you so much clout.  I know he will like it more once he gets better at it, plus skating at the beach will probably be more fun for him than being at the rink.  I will bargain with him - one hour of skating equals one hour of sand play.

Cerritos next week, baby!  I am so excited already.  I cannot wait to roll up there!  It's going to be the bomb.  I haven't been to Cerritos for over a month and all my injuries have healed.  I am ready to get re- injured lol!  Every time I skate up there, I pick up a little something else.  So here's to picking up a little something else.  Now put on some skates and get your roll on out there!  It's a great way to stay cool.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Skate, Don't Hate

Hey Skate Team! How is everyone doing?  Happy Start of Summer!  I am so happy the summer is finally here.  Lots of opportunities to skate outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Went to the rink last night for Adult Night. It was quite dead, looks like that is going to be a trend for the summer.  Who wouldn't want to hang out inside a boiling hot building, skating as fast as possible?  Yeah I guess I didn't mention that the rink is not air conditioned.  I know, it seems like medieval times or something.  In Cerritos, the rink is air conditioned.  Sometimes I need a jacket when I'm warming up, it's downright cold on the floor!  Once you get all hot and sweaty though, how wonderful to feel that icy cold air on your face.  Anyway, I digress.  The rink was dead which means super fast hardcore skating, utter exhaustion by 9:00 pm (rink closes at 10:30).  When there are more people, you have to be more cautious so it causes you to skate slower. Man this dead rink is tearing me up!

I have been feeling a little stagnant lately.  Need to mix it up a bit.  I still love doing all my regular stuff like downtown and all, I just want to go to the next level.  I am back watching my how to videos again.  Lately I have been trying to learn to spin.  The only spin I know how to do is a downtown spin, which doesn't even really count as a spin.  You seem some skaters doing some amazing spins, 10 times around.  I am just trying to do one spin and stop.  Then I will go on from there.  I am working on the heel toe spin at the moment.  I am also trying to skate more on my front wheels.  All these things are challenging so it's much easier to fall back into my regular movements.  Have to keep pushing for constant improvement.

My birthday is coming up in a couple weeks.  Man I just keep getting older.  But with my skating, I honestly feel younger than I have in years.  So happy birthday to me, bitches!!

For my birthday, I am going to Vegas.  Yeah baby!  So excited.  I am going to skate at Crystal Palace on July 3 for their Adult Night, hopefully they will have a 4th of July special skate.  I am looking forward to luxuriating at the hotel, lounging in the pool, getting drunk on cheap drinks, kicking ass on the slots, and not sleeping.  That's the plan!

Monday, June 6, 2011

You Ain't Ready for Cali

Hi friends! How is the beginning of summer treating you? Couldn't be better over here.  I have many skating adventures to report on so let's get down to brass tacks.  Last week was the awesome, incredible and impossible to forget Back to Cali Skate Jam at Skate Depot.  Where do I start to describe an event like this one?  Although I went last year, since then my skating has grown in leaps and bounds so it was a completely different experience.

I had heard that there were supposed to be 300-400 skaters in attendance for each night of the four night event, but STILL! Being out there is so different from reading about it.  This year I went on Thursday and Saturday.  Thursday being the kick off, it was quite crowded.  The music was off the hook.  Once I got out in the crowd and started grooving with them, I felt like a million bucks.  Correction: a million petrified bucks.  No matter how many times I have skated in Cerritos, doing Back to Cali is on another level all to itself.  The floor is just so packed, but everyone is respectful of everyone else's space.  But when a fall happens, it truly is scary because three or four skaters inevitably end up tripping on the fallen ones.  I had a guy bump into me from behind and felt myself begin falling back.  OH MY GOD! There were some terrifying seconds there, and then he grabbed me and I got my balance back.  Phew.

My blood was pumping so hard after that near miss.  I was shaking all over!  And although I perfected getting off the floor last year, it was like being a beginner all over again up there.  I was too scared to get off the floor!  Haven't felt that in a long time.  So no choice but to hang in until they call for a special and the floor clears.  Back to skating with my heart in my throat.  This guy runs into me and it looks so grim - I'm flailing all over the place, falling forward.  I really thought I was going down, but he (rightfully) grabbed me and I managed to not fall.  I grabbed on to his arm and sweater so hard that I partially bent one of my fingernails back.  Ouch!  But not too bad if that's the only injury you take home from Cerritos.

They called for Trios (I described these on my very first trip to Cerritos back in February 2010 awwwww) and this is my cue to get off the floor, but a couple of my buddies talked me into doing it with them.  Wow.  I thought I was terrified before.  For a special event like this, there are dozens of skaters that can skate trios, so it wasn't like the floor was empty or anything.  There has to be 15 groups on the floor, and some had as many as seven skaters.  We mostly did this thing where we linked our arms together, and I was in the middle getting pulled back and forth like crazy.  We also tried holding hands and going in circles, which involves a lot of a backwards/forwards skating.  Much scarier.  Plus I felt like one of them was going to break my wrist.  So we went back to the other way.  I was so frightened but I felt like I grew as a skater in those moments.  I'm proud of myself for conquering trios. 

Thursday was so incredible that I decided to go back up for Saturday as well.  Also crazy packed, with people pouring in by the minute.  I felt empowered from my successful Thursday night, and hit the wood hard.  Feels so good to roll with folks like that, true skaters getting their roll on.  Man I would love to go every week!  There were many different times where a skater would put their arm around me to let me know they were passing me, or take my  hand to pass in front of me.  So natural.  I wasn't able to escape unscathed, however.  I ended up falling on my ass a few hours in.  Really don't know what happened, these falls tend to happen so quickly.  I found myself on the ground, that much I knew.  In the fast lane.  I got up in a crouch position in about two seconds and a friend helped me away.  But man my butt is still sore 10 days later. [Side note: my subject line is taken from one of the comments the DJ would often make as we were skating around "Ya'll can't handle Cali" "You ain't ready for Cali" it was hilarious!)

Simply cannot wait until my next Cerritos trip.  Unfortunately I don't have one on the books right now as my birthday is coming up next month.  I'll be heading to Vegas to skate at Crystal Palace, woo  hoo!  Looking forward to that.  Should be able to hit a rink or two on the way over as well.  Yeah baby, skating road trip!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Odds and Ends

Hi Skate Fam, today is Tuesday and it’s simply my favorite day of the week! Adult night tonight, I just can’t wait! This week is even better because I am going to Skate Depot on Thursday WHAT WHAT yeah that’s right. I can’t believe it’s been a month already. I keep having flashbacks to when I was there last. Such a blast until…it wasn’t. Falls really sucks for me because they haunt me for awhile afterwards. I get all gun-shy and afraid to take risks. It’s been four weeks though and I’ve skated many times in between.

I still have my injury. One of my derby friends told me she waits two weeks for every injury she gets, and then she goes to the doctor. It’s been four weeks for me. I feel like I should probably wait it out, then I’ll pull my arm in some weird way that is so painful. Still waiting it out. I never really thought I could get so hurt at skating, I guess I am learning my lesson.

I’ve been doing all this couple skating, which is awesome, but the step gets boring after awhile. One of the most fun things about going to Cerritos is checking out other couples and the steps they take. I have been learning one new step called the shuffle. Fun but hard. One leg always weaker than the other. I have also been trying to do better about skating on my toes. It’s the sort of thing you are supposed to learn when you first start skating, but I did not listen to my teachers. So now here I am two years later, not having much skills with skating on my toes. Funny how that stuff comes back around.

I have been advised to take smaller steps when I’m skating and doing cross overs. Ha, easier said than done! It really is scary to bring your skates closer together. Plus I have learned habits with the way I take my steps. I don’t even really know how to pick up my speed unless I am in my usual stance. Everyone says I have to unlearn my bad habits. Um okay, working on that.

With my backwards skating, I have my all consuming fear of turning around. It’s so ridiculous but I must get over it. When I hear the music getting towards the end of the song, I’m already dreading the turn around that’s coming. At the rink on Saturday, I worked on turning around over and over. I felt like I made a little headway. The fast backward skaters, you should see how effortlessly they turn around at top speed. I want to get their.

On a completely unrelated note, how awesome are my pictures for today’s blog?  Check out Olivia!  Funny that they redacted her name from the cover.  The internet is amazing in that it continues to yield good images, some two years later. Keep calm and skate on, skaters.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Harder They Come...

Hello skate fans! I hope this greeting finds you well. I have been a very remiss blogger. Sometimes life gets in the way, but of course there is always time for skating.

I went up to Cerritos a little over a week ago. I did not eagerly go to my computer afterwards for one main reason – I fell again. Part of me says “why do I keep falling all of the sudden? I thought I was doing better in my skating!” Ultimately my falls have been related to the falls of other people, so I don’t think it’s a reflection on my skating skills at all. Also, I now skate at a much higher speed, so when the fall occurs, I have a lot more inertia to send me flying and falling much harder.

Still, it was a bummer of a fall. My first mistake was I cut to the left to avoid some slower skaters. To the right is always, always, ALWAYS the safest. I cut left and these two old guys (yes they were very old, at least 60 if not 70) fell directly in front of me. I saw it coming and cut even further left to avoid them. It totally looked like I was in the clear, and then one of the old guys flung his arm out in my path as he completed his fall. All of this happens in the span of a second. I tried to step over but I was going much too fast. I rolled over his arm, which I’m sure felt great, and it took me down. I went flying, face first. Came down first on my right elbow – yes the same elbow injured only one week earlier – followed by smacking both knees, and then I flopped down on my belly. Yes I cleaned the rink floor for a few feet. I immediately curled up in a ball to avoid the people behind me but they skated expertly around me. Then one of my friends came and helped me up. My body was aching.

That really took a lot of joy out of my night. Injuries always suck. I didn’t even clean my skates on their fancy skate cleaning machine, or buy new nuts like I was supposed to. I didn’t even do any backwards skating. Sigh. But still, before that happened, I was having such an amazing time. Nero didn’t go, which rocked my world. I felt so disappointed, I had to give myself a pep talk and remind myself I came to skate – period. Not with anyone, not any certain way, not with any certain music. The point is to skate. After that, I was good. I was jamming along with the crowd and staying in the far right lane. My new wheels were complete love on that floor.

My best defense against all this falling is: 1. Fall better, and 2. Learn how to jump. I skated with one of my teachers on Tuesday and he was all over my “bad” form. He wants me to bend my knees practically to the ground (I’m a short girl as it is) and pull one skate clear around to the other side of the other skate. The way he does. Ugh time for more at home practice. Skate on, dear friends.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Keep Calm and Skate On

OMG I can't believe it has been nearly a month since my last post!  I am the worst blogger ever.  Well then, this post might be long.  :)  So how have you been?  I hope you've been skating as much as me.  I have had plenty of family and adult nights in the past month, but I will focus on just the good stuff.  CERRITOS!  Went to Cerritos last month on the 31st, and it was out of this world!  How could this rink get better every single time I go there?  I swear I wish I could go every week.  The people, the music, it was just the best time.

What made it even more fun is my new skating partner.  We shall call him Nero to protect the innocent.  I have been couple skating with Nero for a couple of months here in San Diego, but I know he goes to Cerritos nearly every week.  So I was thrilled to meet him up there.  By the time I got up there, he was totally warmed up and ready to skate FAST, like super fast!  It was scary as hell.  It's one thing to skate fast down here but up there, it's another story.  Plus he's such a good skater, he likes to steer us into danger "just to make it more exciting". Great.  But I skated incredibly hard to keep up with him, so much harder than I skate in San Diego.  My legs were sore for three days!  But it was so worth it on every single level.

A friend of mine asked me to help him with couple skating as he sees me skating with Nero all the time.  So we gave it go up there but he can't do it very well, and I'm not that versed either.  So what happened?  He kicked my skate and we both went down in a big, giant, falling-down-in-Cerritos pile.  Argh it sucked!  Such a mixture of embarrassment, pain, fear, humiliation and did I say embarrassment?  I swear that's the worst part.  I went down badly, right on my tailbone and with my head going back into the floor.  Ouch!  But the floor guards up there are the bomb, they were on top of me in seconds.  They really rock. 

Skating in San Diego is a letdown after being in Cerritos.  You have to adjust back to the average music and kids.  But skating with Nero is always awesome, there is so much he can teach me.  I'm so happy he's decided to take me under his wing.  I worry that I'm holding him back, that he can't skate as fast as he'd like because he's skating with me.  But he told me not to worry about that.

In other news, I have been corresponding with the man that sold me my Snyder's.  Apparently he reads my blog, so a big shout out to Jim and Renee, hey you crazy kids!  They are both artistic skaters.  Anyway, so Jim told me he's going to send me some different wheels so I can skate faster.  I am so excited!  I can't wait to get them and then bake some zucchini bread for the lucky soul that is going to swap out my bearings.

Took my little beast to the rink yesterday to get his roll on.  I succeeded in having him wear skates for two hours, which I thought was pretty amazing.  He enjoyed the limbo and the dice game and giving mommy high 5's when she skated by.  Other than that, I think his favorite part was the arcade hahaha.  But at least he kept his skates on.  By the end of the session, he was able to walk around the rink floor without falling.  Not rolling but at least not falling.

Other than that, Cerritos on the 28th.  Oh yeah.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If You're Lucky Enough to be Irish, You're Lucky Enough

St. Patrick's Day greetings to all my readers, all 17 of you! Haha It's St. Patrick's Day and I've got to find some leprechaun roller skating images on google.  Hopefully that's what you are looking at right now.

St. Patrick's Day and roller skating don't really mix, although there is a rink in L.A. where alcohol is served at the adjoining bowling center.  I really couldn't imagine skating drunk, that just sounds terrifying.  It's so easy to make a mistake when you're sober, who knows what you might do if you're drunk.  But I digress.

You know I've been getting my roll on.  Adult Night this past Tuesday was so fantastic.  For one thing, there was only a handful of amateurs, so that's always good.  The DJ played lots of my requests, which is awesome.  And there were no major accidents the whole night, thank goodness.  (There was a bad one a few weeks ago that ended in the paramedics taking the girl out. Scary.)  I am feeling so awesome in my new skates, I just can't believe I left them on the shelf for six months!  Was ready to sell them!  There's a time and place for everything.

My backwards skating has improved dramatically in the last few weeks.  My buddy, DJ Dave, has been really helping me with my backwards crossovers and has driven the point home about shifting my weight from foot to foot.  This is the basis of roller skating and the key to success on your wheels.  I still kinda suck at turning around but I am working on it all the time.  I am also learning backwards couple skating, which is so totally exciting.  Of course also very easy to get knocked down but so far, so good. 

We really rocked on our downtown routines on Tuesday night.  I saw the amateurs looking on, mesmerized.  One of them came up to me and asked if we were professionals.  That made my night.  When everyone is on the beat and we are perfectly synchronized, we probably do look like professionals.

In other news, I am skating at the rink this weekend, which I am so excited about.  It's been at least a month since I was able to fit in skating on the weekend at the rink.  I'm especially glad because they are saying rain this weekend so probably no beach skating.  Then Cerritos later this month, so excited!  Can't wait to get my roll on Skate Depot style.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skate or Die

Good morning skate family! I am writing today in very high spirits, I have been having lots of wonderful skating adventures and having the best time.

Skating on Tuesday was so fantastic.  Although I have only been wearing my Douglass Snyder skates for three weeks, I feel like I have already acclimated to wearing them.  My skates were still hurting me, so one of my friends suggested that I cut up some make up sponges and put them on my toes.  Wow, worked like a charm!  Tuesday was my first time not having pain with my skates, and it was so awesome.  I was skating fast, I was doing my roller dancing, and just basically feeling like a million bucks in my bad ass skates.

Last weekend I skated up at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA.  What a funny and interesting rink.  Very small with a super low ceiling, probably about the same size as Skate World.   The rink is maintained in a 1950's style (including no locks on the bathroom doors) so that movies can be filmed there.  It was a family night, but these kids behaved so differently from the kids in San Diego. Skating was extremely uniform, certainly no texting while skating (so rampant here).  There was a sign at the entrance that said "no fast or reckless skating", and this rule is clearly followed.  I'm not used to skating so slow; I never got a warning but I definitely got some stern looks.  But it was so easy to backwards skate amongst those kids because they didn't dart around at all.  There was a bucket in the middle of the floor with cones around it from a leak in the ceiling. It was pretty funny, every  now and then the DJ would come on the mic and say "avoid the bucket".

So Moonlight was okay but I didn't think it was all that like people have said.  To be fair, Audlt Night would probably be way better.  The following day was supposed to be the Race on the Base but it got rained out, it was pretty crappy.  The rain was very intense.  To make up for it, I located an afternoon session at another rink so the trip wouldn't be wasted.

Went to the Fountain Valley Skating Center on Saturday for their afternoon session 11:00-1:30.  This rink is HUGE compared to Skate World, and I just loved it.  The lovely wood floor is unfortunately painted over, but I loved it just the same.  It's so nice to skate on such a big floor and be able to really practice some steps before you get to the turn.  This rink appeared to have fairly strict rules as well; I went in the middle to practice my crazy legs and was immediately told that skating in the center is not allowed.  There were three little kids having lessons so my skating there would "interfere" with the lessons.  Whatever.  Skating was fun, the music was top 40 but definitely more upbeat, so I can work with that.  When I saw the lessons had ended, I made a plea to the DJ to allow me to skate in the center, and she begrudgingly said yes hahaha.  I quite enjoyed ths rink and would love to hit it up for Adult Night, but it's on Thursday and neither of these rinks hold a candle to Skate Depot in Cerritos. 

I'm so excited to turn the corner with my Snyder skates.  I had four different people pay me compliments on Tuesday night, and I really feel it is because of the skates.  Even though they are so heavy, I have adapted to them quickly and what can I say, I'm just in love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skate It Out

Hey there, skating last night at Adult Night was the bomb!  I had such a fun time.  Do you remember my cool Douglass Snyder skates I bought off eBay so long ago?  See blog post here.  Wow, can't believe I bought those skates almost a year ago now!  Those skates gave me so much trouble.  The worst thing about wearing them is how slow they make me skate.

BUT!  I decided to give them another go last night.  I've been hearing a lot about how special they are and how well I will be able to skate once I get used to them and break them in.  I laced them up last night.  Gosh, how different they feel on my feet.  My usual Chicago skates have wheels that are significantly softer, making it easier for me to grip the floor.  These wheels are so hard!  When I go into a turn, I can just feel them wanting to slide and it's pretty darn scary.  The skates are also so heavy, probably about 3-4 lbs. each.  It's a lot of weight to pick up compared to my light weight Chicago skates.

The best thing about wearing the skates is that after an hour or so, I did feel pretty good on them.  I was able to keep up around the floor frontward rexing, and do my dance skating as well.  But after two hours, I had some pretty awful pain in my right foot.  Feels like I need to stretch my skates again.  I think the most important thing that came out of the whole experience is that I feel good wearing these skates.  I really feel confident that in time, I will be able to master them.

Skate Depot in Cerritos tomorrow.  YES!  I just can't wait.  I'm not going to wear the Snyder's though.  I've got to be able to hold my own with the good skaters up there.  I can skate so much faster with my Chicago's.  Hopefully by summer I can wear the Snyder's in Cerritos.  Just have to wait and see.

Raining today in San Diego and rain predicted for all the rest of the week.  Boo!  I really want to skate at the beach this weekend but I guess it is winter, after all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Skate Skate Skate

Hi Skate World!  Been a few weeks since my last update, but know that I have been skating like crazy.  It's February, and I have a trip to Cerritos coming up in a few weeks.  Can't wait to roll up there! 

I've been skating at the rink on the weekends again.  The kids are still as scary as ever.  I had a boy knock me down on Saturday night.  Of course I wasn't hurt but my butt was pretty sore the next day.  There haven't been many people skating at the beach on the weekends since the weather has been so up and down so I have been going to the rink instead.  Lots of extra small ones on Sundays so I have to be extra careful.

Been working more and more on my frontward skating and even trying to skate on my toes a bit.  It's frustrating because I'm not good at it but I know I won't get any better unless I practice.  My wheels wobble like crazy.  Have to get my legs stronger.  I have a few people that I skate with now on Tuesdays who have a pace similar to mine.  It feels great to be part of the skate family.

I have an exciting event coming up this month that I am really pumped up about!  It's called the Race on the Base and they have a 10K skate portion!  So cool, I just had to sign up.  The course is actually a runway so it sounds so neat!  It's supposed to be really smooth and you have to wear all gear so you can go super fast.  The gear sucks as it cost a grip of money to buy a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, etc.  Entrance fee was no small matter either but the point is to skate, right??  I really can't wait, hope the weather is beautiful that day.

Been practicing my backwards skating so much.  I feel more confident each day.  I skated backwards yesterday amongst those kids, even though it's frightening and I feel like I'm going to break my neck trying to see if I'm going to run into anyone!  Can't wait to skate tomorrow for Adult Night.  Wish it was more than once a week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skate Like It's Summer

Hi out there, I know it's been a few weeks since I have blogged.  Honestly, I was struck down by the flu bug.  Forced off my wheels but the evil hand of fate!  Oh well, it was bound to happen as I haven't been sick for a few years.  Guess it was my turn.  I didn't skate for a solid week, which was so bizarre.  Then I went skating and it totally got me sick all over again.  I wasn't ready to be back on my wheels, apparently.  Let me catch you up.

Right before New Years, I skated in Cerritos.  So unbelievable.  There is simply nothing like skating up there, it's just the best.  I had such a fantastic time.  It was really crowded and very frightening over in the fast lane so I stayed out of it for the most part.  Lots of people do the same style of skating as me around the floor so it was a blast to follow people, or get in a line of five or six people and mimic their steps.  So fun to know I can keep up now.

I am just barely returning to a normal skating schedule after my illness.  I will definitely remember that I have to stay home on Skate Night when I've been ill.  I have so much fun skating, I don't really think of it as an exertion or exercise.  I skated last Tuesday for the first time after my sickness.  It felt a little weird!  Just took me a couple dozen rotations to get comfortable again.  Then I was golden.

We are having unbelievable weather right now in San Diego, so after a long two months off, I was able to skate at the beach this past Sunday.  It was glorious.  Brilliant blue skies, hazy sunshine and a cool breeze coming off the water.  I love to be on the wood in the rink, but skating in the sunshine is an experience like no other.  Fantastic skating day.

Skating at the rink tonight.  Some of the rexers organized a Skate Night so it should be on the crowded side.  Last week, there was a gal there who told me she rode her motorcycle 80 miles to skate with us.  Very cool!  She told me about a rink in Fountain Valley.  I mapped it and it's about the exact distance of Cerritos, maybe slightly less.  She claims they have a great Adult Night on Thursdays.  Have to see for myself but sounds like a road trip in the making.