S k a t e L o g     F o r u m
Inline Skating and Quad Roller Skating
Forum Hosts: Jessica Wright | Kathie Fry

FOLLOW US: Our Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Email    


Home - Forum Index - Africa Skating - Asia Skating - Europe Skating - Oceania Skating - Pan America Skating - Roller_Rinks - Friend the SkateLog Forum in Facebook - SkateLog Forum on Facebook

Forum Administrators: Jessica Wright and Kathie Fry | Email Us
Access code for buying and selling subforums: "skates"
How To Get a User Account and Posting Privileges in the SkateLog Forum
Use Google to Search the SkateLog Forum

Go Back   SkateLog Forum > General Interest Skating Forums > Fitness Skating and Training Forum
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old August 25th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #1
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default I met Yoda today (warning: long and self-indulgent...)

Well, at least that's what today's bittersweet encounter felt like. On my mid-day skate, I paused to check my wheels, frames and axles for an identifiable source of lost mojo. As I tinkered away, a spry woman who looked about 70 years old came around the corner, walking her dog. She commented on how rare it was to see someone with good skates these days. We talked gear for a bit - her Mogema boots were wearing out, and she doesn't like how Bonts fit, and so she was wondering if my boots could also handle ice blades. I had to admit my ignorance.

She then lamented the shrinking inline skating scene in Burlington. She noted that about 15-20 years ago, there used to be inline crit races just about every summer weekend. She said that for 3 years in the early to mid-'90s the finale of the annual Green Mountain Stage Race included inline crit races as an intermission between the cycling races through downtown Burlington. She talked about all the cameraderie among the several dozen competitors back then. She then named the two people in Vermont who still compete on inline skates (one of whom may have moved out of state). As we parted, she yelled "Nice form!" as I skated away.

Why was this bittersweet? Obviously, it's because she gave me a glimpse into a golden age that I missed. Like so many other things, I caught the wave of inline skating after it had already broken and reached the shore. When this lively scene was happening 3 hours north of where I was in college, I made my first tentative steps into the "rollerblading" phenomenon that had intrigued me for about 5 years. (Pointing myself down a mountain road until I got proficient at stopping may not have been tentative, but I had to watch others test the waters for a while before I hopped in.)

The only competitions I ever heard about before 1999-2000 were the X-Games, Athens-To-Atlanta, and a few local 5K fun rolls. So, in 1998 I promptly jumped in way over my head and attempted A2A as an out-of-shape novice on rec skates. I had no clue about any teams or clubs, except for a Leukemia Society "Team-In-Training" group an hour away (without the inevitable traffic) in Washington DC...which of course held practices when I'd never be able to attend. (A similar group, and a speed team, sprouted in Baltimore a year after I moved 5 hours south.) I had no idea what separated speed skates from "normal rollerblades", no clue about technique, and rudimentary knowledge at best about bearings and wheels. I could get down any hill fearlessly, but going back up was another story.

So, why "Yoda"? Well, the encounter reminded me of the scene in "Empire Strikes Back" when young Luke begins his Jedi training, and he slays a mock Darth Vader only to find his own face underneath the helmet. It occurred to me today that my inline skating experience has mirrored that scene. I've expected the sport to transform me into a person I have wanted to be since early childhood, but simply am not. That's why, despite having no background or interest in being an endurance athlete, I have entered distance races on skates. After all, I have to be a competitor if I'm going to spend a lot of time doing something that's kind of on the fringe, pushing myself where others are out for a casual roll, and getting injured with some frequency. Otherwise, I can't justify my skating habit. (If mountain biking or snowboarding were my sport of choice, the innate mystique would eliminate the need for such justification.) So, that's what I repeatedly bring with me into Yoda's cave, and why the chips I throw at the monkey on my back just land in an ever-growing pile on my shoulder.

The catch-22 that epitomizes it all: I have no real interest in trying A2A again, and yet I feel like a failure if I don't. Somehow, despite a fair amount of success in important areas of my life, it nags at me that it's just not good enough to skate because I enjoy it for both blissful crusing and the occasional downhill thrill, and because it keeps me in far better shape than I'd be in if I didn't skate. It's like I have to constantly impress an audience that doesn't exist.

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #2
sk8crazy
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 565
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post

The catch-22 that epitomizes it all: I have no real interest in trying A2A again, and yet I feel like a failure if I don't. Somehow, despite a fair amount of success in important areas of my life, it nags at me that it's just not good enough to skate because I enjoy it for both blissful crusing and the occasional downhill thrill, and because it keeps me in far better shape than I'd be in if I didn't skate. It's like I have to constantly impress an audience that doesn't exist.

----Scott

Scott, don't ever feel like a failure because you don't want to try A2A again. Until this year I, too, skated for "blissful cruising" although I used & still use the word "joy" to describe what I did. Just keep skating the way you want to skate & never worry about impressing some invisible audience. Life is far too short to concern yourself with things like that.
sk8crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 02:47 AM   #3
speedysktr
President of Everything
 
speedysktr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,026
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post
It's like I have to constantly impress an audience that doesn't exist.
If it didn't exist, the silence of their non-clapping wouldn't bother you.

wh-whut?

I can't un-think or dis-say what I just said, so I'm just gonna say this: the audience exists. Deal with it. After the crappy, strung together, hob knobbed pissant of a weekend of training or attempt at training, I just had, trust me, they're there and their there is what will always be the space we are trying to fill. One day, one way or another, if not already, we'll be in that audience watching ourselves struggle and we'll say, "just do it".
speedysktr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #4
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8crazy View Post
Scott, don't ever feel like a failure because you don't want to try A2A again. Until this year I, too, skated for "blissful cruising" although I used & still use the word "joy" to describe what I did. Just keep skating the way you want to skate & never worry about impressing some invisible audience. Life is far too short to concern yourself with things like that.
Thanks! I agree completely. Of course, you have the distinct advantage of having someone to share your skating with!

I've seen a handful of other "blissful cruisers" around here, mostly 10-20 years older than me. I only see them on the flat bike paths, too. I can count on one hand the number of people I've seen skating on my hill routes...and I've only seen 2 of them more than once. One of them was this middle-aged guy who did telemark turns all over town last summer, and then vanished. Otherwise, the only people I encounter on those routes with wheels on their feet are the UVM skiers on rollerskis. Passing them is an adventure, with all those flailing poles! ("On your left...er...right...er...whichever side won't get me impaled!!!" )

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #5
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post
If it didn't exist, the silence of their non-clapping wouldn't bother you.

wh-whut?

I can't un-think or dis-say what I just said, so I'm just gonna say this: the audience exists. Deal with it. After the crappy, strung together, hob knobbed pissant of a weekend of training or attempt at training, I just had, trust me, they're there and their there is what will always be the space we are trying to fill. One day, one way or another, if not already, we'll be in that audience watching ourselves struggle and we'll say, "just do it".
...or are they only there because we invite them to watch?

Why should I be beholden to something which I undertook in a moment of naive grandiosity??? It's as if I'd been running 2-3 miles a couple of days a week by myself in basketball hi-tops, had never seen anyone wear real running shoes or run faster than a 10-minute mile, and I signed-up for this thing I saw on TV called the Boston Marathon. Yes, it really was that ridiculously naive. So, in a way it has no business being on my "official" scorecard...

When, older and wiser, I set a more realistic goal - skating a marathon in under 2 hours - I achieved it with plenty of room to spare. Then, I repeated it a year later. That should outweigh my youthful indiscretion, and I ought to be able to just walk away from competition without any regrets. Yet, somehow it nags at me.

Truthfully, I don't see myself ever getting into A2A shape without abandoning my career. That just ain't going to happen. So, I guess it's time for acceptance...and flipping the bird at that pesky audience!

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #6
speedysktr
President of Everything
 
speedysktr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,026
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post
Why should I be beholden to something which I undertook in a moment of naive grandiosity???...

...and flipping the bird at that pesky audience!
It's your tree, you're sitting in it. You chose it for some reason and the audience is the you that chose it. We've talked about this before, my friend. I'm probably the worst person to remind you of it, but it is what it is. You got a monkey on your back. Why do you think that image from Star Wars came to you? Reach up and pull the mask off that monkey and whose face will you see?
speedysktr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #7
oldnslow
Listen to DaMan
 
oldnslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern IN
Posts: 1,076
Default

Dude!!! What was the old skater chick wearing? Was she hot? What kind of dog did she have? Did the dog try to piss on your skates?

Your story is not complete.

You take way to much for granted. Be glad you are healthy and able to enjoy what you can.
__________________
"Haste makes waste...and talk is CHEAP
Shut Up and SKATE!"
oldnslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #8
sk8crazy
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 565
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post

Of course, you have the distinct advantage of having someone to share your skating with!
Yes, I am truly lucky!!
sk8crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #9
Bill in Houston
Not Low Enough
 
Bill in Houston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,032
Default

Someday, find 87 miles worth of trails near you (or do the same ones 10 times) and do your A2A. It doesn't matter how long it takes, or how long you sit and rest. You know you need to do it.

Just like for me, I know that if I never go over marathon distance, I will feel like I gave up or weenied out on something. I need to figure out what distance will satisfy me, and put the event on my calendar, and do it one day. Maybe it's A2A. Maybe it's 3 passes on my standard 20 mile course. Maybe it's 5. I don't know what my monkey wants yet.
Bill in Houston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #10
Jessica
Queen of the Mile
 
Jessica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tampa
Posts: 2,103
Default

Sounds to me like you've already made up your mind - now it's just a question of when
__________________
Eternally Hungry Skinsuited Weenie
Jessica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 12:43 AM   #11
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post
It's your tree, you're sitting in it. You chose it for some reason and the audience is the you that chose it. We've talked about this before, my friend. I'm probably the worst person to remind you of it, but it is what it is. You got a monkey on your back. Why do you think that image from Star Wars came to you? Reach up and pull the mask off that monkey and whose face will you see?
Alas, the monkey isn't so easily satisfied. If I do A2A successfully, the monkey will wolf it down, complain that it wasn't cooked right, and order something else. Knowing this fact all too well, I've chosen to accept the monkey for what it is.

If anything, not re-attempting A2A shows that I have gotten better at picking battles that are of my choosing, and not the monkey's.

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #12
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Someday, find 87 miles worth of trails near you (or do the same ones 10 times) and do your A2A. It doesn't matter how long it takes, or how long you sit and rest. You know you need to do it.
That's a good idea. However, if I skate 87 miles it will only "count" if the hill profile and pavement issues are at least as challenging as A2A, and if I have to do a Silver Hill-esque descent in a paceline. Otherwise, it's just skating a long way.

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 12:50 AM   #13
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
Dude!!! What was the old skater chick wearing? Was she hot? What kind of dog did she have? Did the dog try to piss on your skates?
Okay, since you asked: triathlon t-shirt, running shorts, and a visor hat. She was kind of hot, seeing as it was about 85 degrees. Dog was the kind with fur, and it was too busy rolling in the leaves to relieve itself on my skates. Of course, it probably would have taken a dump on them if they were rec skates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
You take way to much for granted. Be glad you are healthy and able to enjoy what you can.
Very true. I try to remind myself of this every day. Unfortunately, I have a lifelong habit of discounting my successes and dwelling on my failures.

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #14
chaosdsm
Senior Member
 
chaosdsm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 263
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post
The catch-22 that epitomizes it all: I have no real interest in trying A2A again, and yet I feel like a failure if I don't. Somehow, despite a fair amount of success in important areas of my life, it nags at me that it's just not good enough to skate because I enjoy it for both blissful crusing and the occasional downhill thrill, and because it keeps me in far better shape than I'd be in if I didn't skate. It's like I have to constantly impress an audience that doesn't exist.

----Scott
My #1 rule for skating:

Skate for myself, all others be damned.
chaosdsm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #15
LezSk8
Senior Member
 
LezSk8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Longwood, Florida, 1 1/2 miles from the Seminole Wekiva Trail.
Posts: 935
Default

Scott, I've read this and the other similiar thread with interest and appreciate your perspective and the insights others have shared. I've felt the frustrations of solo skating and doing "my thing" without finding others who enjoy it as much as I do.

I've observed that most serious inline skaters are intelligent, self motivate and upward bound in their lifes persuits. Great people but also very individualistic and with their own agenda. So group skating schedules or even partner skating seldom fits into their priorities. When they find a like-minded partner or group, it's great. But they don't need it, it's just the way it is.

But one of the outstanding positives of this great activity is how fulfilling it is in and of itself. Charish it, embrase it and nurture it as long as you can.

I skate 90% solo but have found that participating in several events a year helps me stay focused on plans and goals that keep my routine skates interesting and challenging. It also give me the opportunity to get to know some wonderful skater better, see the latest in new equiptment and learn from some great instructors and new skating experiences.

Embrace it for what it is and all it has to offers and the "monkey on your back" may decide it's time to find someone else to bug.

LezSk8!
__________________
LezSk8 Central Florida!
Visit http://www.cftb.us for local trail & activity information.
LezSk8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #16
Mom Deb
Senior Member
 
Mom Deb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 288
Default

Great reading, everyone.

Hey Scott, I am still trying to get up to an average of 11 mph at 53 years old! A week ago Saturday, I tried skating with a group and actually got to spend a few minutes with one guy on a bike and a couple on speed skates before I pulled away from the former and the latter finally pulled away from me with ease...

I really do aspire to being better but that just seems to take more time than I have or seem to be able to muster. So far, I can not even manage to consistently get 9mph. Since I broke my back, I haven't even been able to skate more than 11 miles or so at a time, but I really do enjoy it. I've done a total of 3 marathons now in two years and I think the marathon in less than 2 hours goal is a great one. I had that one too before the injury.

Speaking of getting in shape...I better go do a little something before I run out of time again....
Mom Deb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #17
sk8scott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 929
Default

Thanks for the kind words, MomDeb!

It sounds like you're being reasonable about just how much you can do after breaking your back, and given the other limits that life's demands impose. That's not always an easy task for me.

You just might surprise yourself with that goal of skating a marathon under 2 hours. I thought that was an overly ambitious goal when I first set it, but the right paceline can do wonders!

----Scott
sk8scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.