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Old July 5th, 2016, 02:18 PM   #14
BorisB's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bratislava
Posts: 47

I am 36 years old, doing slalom regularly for around 6-7 years now. At one point I was not getting much fun out of it anymore, it felt like the amount of time sunk into practice is just not visible. This got underlined by the fact that I was joining a lot of competitions to often get my butt kicked by increasingly smaller kids.

Why do I keep slaloming?

- Stress/mental relief. Kev0 said that job/uni can distract from practice. But if you have a desk job which involves an amount of stress or mental fatigue you might want to balance it with something. Slalom requires a lot of concentration so you easily forget about work/problems...

- Keeping fit. Some people like endurance/long distance sports. Other people prefer stuff which is rich in technique and things to explore. Like slalom, which is not an expensive sport once you find a nice spot where to do it.

- I love skating to music, inventing new ways to chain the tricks to match the song. I do not understand people who slalom in silence. Even if technical tricks sometimes seem out of reach, it can be very rewarding when you succeed in capturing the mood of a song or the changes in its rhythm. Because then you feel the skating is not mechanical but more... expressive?

- I still see some progress. Not all the time and not always in the high technical tricks but even the basic/intermediate stuff can be done at various levels of fluency, dynamics... If I will get better in my technicals then great but I learnt to not see them as the holy grail.

- Not all of us can follow the same route to progress. If you can not do something properly there is likely a valid reason behind and ways to improve, e.g. by off skate practice. I was not able to maintain toe wheeling and none of my friends had troubles with that, which was very frustrating. Some running and rope jumping improved it. Lower back pain can be helped by core training. Gosh even riding a bike will improve your skating.
- It feels rewarding when you finally nail a trick when it felt completely out of reach at first. Or for a couple of years...

- It feels rewarding if you inspire other people to improve their skating level.

- I like teaching skating in general, so showing up at the park regularly gives me opportunities to teach.

I made a detour into ice figure skating with a real coach. I recommend the same to any self-taught skater, to correct any bad habits e.g. in posture and learn to use the upper body, because we slalomers often focus on what the legs are doing and forget that we also have arms, elbows and hips
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