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Old August 3rd, 2015, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default Should I return to Skating? Need advice.....

I accidentally posted this twice. I apologize.

Last edited by cbergens; August 3rd, 2015 at 09:20 PM. Reason: posted twice by acident.
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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My husband and I were avid roller bladers until approx. six years ago when I had a terrible fall on pavement. I think I hit a little pebble, (I know, I had good wheels and it should not have happened). and my legs went out from under me and slammed down on my back. Long story short, many surgeries followed for ruptured discs, but I don't have hardware in my back fortunately.
Here's my question. NOthing has ever made me feel as good mentally as skating. If I don't skate, I am in a constant low grade depression which I feel I have been in for six years now. I want to return to skating and I have been researching ways to do it that might help prevent such a fall from happening again. I recently read that if you skate pushing a jogging stroller it is very hard to fall over backwards. I would like to know if you can think of any thing else that might help me to prevent such a fall again. I have thought of things like football padding but think it would be too heavy. Also, my husband suggested weighting down the front of the stroller a bit.
ALSO, I forgot the biggest part. I am thinking, instead of roller blades, what do you think of me using quad roller skates with good wheels? I roller skated as a kid and loved it although it was indoors, but I'm thinking that might help give me more balance. And one more thing, my husband and I used to skate holding hands. Then he had leg surgery and had to switch to a bike. That's when I had my fall. Now , he thinks he could go back to skating also but I am a little worried about relying on his hand to hold me up. We are not spring chickens.
PLEASE let me know what you think!!
Thank you![/QUOTE]
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 11:36 PM   #3
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There are pads made for skating, but the most important thing is to learn how to fall. Everyone, whether they skate or not, should learn this. I learned it when I was about 12 from kids who were learning Judo although there are no doubt other sports that teach it. This and at least basic tumbling should be considered basic physical skills but apparently aren't.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 02:28 AM   #4
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A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.

Given the nature of your injuries, you should consult a sports doctor. Tell them how you feel and ask if your body is at any extra risk. Mental health is pretty damn important. Namaste.

Also as most will say....
Maybe you rock some crash pants until you get your groove back. Stay low and wear some pads so you can fall properly if you loose it.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #5
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I know it's not what you asked, (but bear with me)... how do you feel about biking? Skating really helps my mental health, and cycling isn't the same, but it does give its own feelings of exhilaration and freedom. You can go off road, learn to do track stands which I find tickles similar balance-related sensations as skating.

As for skating, the previous comment about consulting a decent sports doc (or physical therapist), seems about right. A lot of people come back from serious injuries. But doing it intelligently is prudent. There may be balance/core related excercices that could really help you out in skating without reinjuring yourself. :-)

I'm sorry you've been off-skates for so long though. That's so hard to have an activity you love and to not be able to do it. :-(
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Old August 4th, 2015, 10:28 AM   #6
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Well..... how old are you? How fit are you? How physically strong are you?

As a skater for many years, I have had the opportunity to fall in many different states. Falling hard when I have been working out is a cakewalk, whereas falling when not doing much physical hurts more and tends to lead to injuries. Age and strength levels are factors.

Actually, instead of a million permutations of what you could do, maybe you could try what I am doing right now. I have one of my bikes attached to one of the rear wheel trainers. It happens to be a recumbent bike, but any bike will do. As I have bad knees, I have also installed shorter crank arms on the bike, which allows for hour long rides without knee pain. I started doing this for fitness and circulation reasons, but is has also gotten me in pretty good shape. What I am getting at is, use a bike/trainer or dedicated exercise bike to get yourself in shape, and THEN start skating again. I find skating more mentally stimulating than biking. But for me, I actually get a better cardio benefit from biking. Anyway, I have been doing either one or two hours a day on the bike. On a skate day, I just skate. This has had the nice benefit of making skating a real recreational activity, as I actually work harder on a bike day.

Other activities for general body strength would be squats or deadlifts. You could try some of this to see how you body will react to an additional strain. You can see whether your body will become stronger, or whether you will aggravate your back. If you do well and your back is good, things will look good for skating.

I skate mainly quads, but some inline also. Quads are MUCH more unstable than inlines front to back. MUCH more unstable. You would likely be better staying with an inline.

As for padded girdles, just go to a local sporting goods store and check out how thin and light to football girdles are. Easy to wear under loose shorts. No one will know they are there.

At any rate, you need to start testing your body in some fashion, not skating, to see if you will have lingering issues with your back. Some light weight lifting and some yoga to stretch, or an exercise bike and some stretching.

After your injury, you can't just jump back into skating. CAREFUL weight lifting is good, in that you can choose how much to lift, and when done slowly and carefully, if very non-jarring. Biking on a trainer, or dedicated stationary bike is good also in that you will working the muscles you will need to skate, and it will be SAFE. Stationary. Then when you build up your conditioning, then start skating. Keep up with the biking, and throw in the skating when you like.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 05:16 AM   #7
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I feel your sadness at not being able to skate for so long.
I too have the same psychological need for skating (on quads) in my life.
I race and train outdoors on for about 1000 miles a year, and more indoors when weather is too cold for outdoor skating.

With so many miles and the poor maintenance of the main path I roll, I expect to fall several times a year and to have at least one of them be a hard enough fall to break bones.
In past years, I have broken both my shoulders and my left wrist, but thankfully, no surgery needed for any of them.

What rufus said about it being much more likely to fall on quads than inlines is absolutely true, even if the quads are fully outdoor optimized with a far forward front axle and a longer wheelbase (see my avatar PIC to the left).

Twice I have fallen backwards from my skates shooting forward out from under me, as you describe your fall, while I rolled along the Chicago lakeftont trail, where I skate the most.
In both cases heavy rain had washed mini sandbars across the trail, and both times there was a short downhill drop right before the sandbar.

Unlike inlines, safe outdoor quad skating (on only two axles) requires keeping quite a bit more weight on the rear axle at near a 60/40% ratio, and when more serious rolling surface issues come at you this goes up to 75-25% or even more. This becomes instinctive, but in the situation with the sand bars crossing the path, going too heavy on the rear axle in anticipation of having to plow through the sand, as I simultaneously accelerated from hitting a sudden downhill drop easily tipped me over backwards.

The first time this happened to me, I was literally near horizontal in the air in a moment. I always wear full pads and a helmet, and in this case I also had a fanny pack with a 2/3 full 20 ounce thin. clear plastic water bottle in it, which luckily ended up being the first thing to make contact with the pavement. The force burst the bottle and this totally cushioned my back from any significant impact, with the 1/3 air in bottle helping a lot too.

The back of my head did got a bit wiplashed down onto the pavement, but the helmet did its job and no concussion. I got right up and quickly resumed skating from a fall that could easily have broken discs.

My soaked shorts from the water was most welcome considering the benefit it had provided as a sacrificial back protector cushion.

At that time in my life I was not very attentive to the effect of my diet on my health, and how a deficiency in magnesium (~80% of Americans are) leads to weakened bones. Most people consume too much calcium and way too little magnesium, which is needed for the body to USE calcium. They also drink too much in the way of carbonated drinks which leaches calcium from the bones (carbonic acid)

Our corporate farm soils are thoroughly magnesium depleted, and chemical pesticide farming further lowers its plant absorption too.

Magnesium regulates the deposition of calcium in the bones, and while flushing the excess of consumed (but not used) calcium, relative to magnesium, this process causes even more of the already depleted magnesium to get flushed out too, making us even more depleted.

This vicious cycle has lead to an epidemic of people with weakened bones from malnourishment. For two years now I have been taking the more highly absorbable type of Mag supplements (NOT the Mag Oxide), and know that as I near 67 years old my bones have strenghtened considerably from what they were 5-10 years ago.

So, to wrap up on my advice, here is my list:

1) Start taking a seriously good and potent mag supplement daily, and get the book The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean

2) Get the best protection gear - crash pants; good long wrist guards with hard shell on top and bottom of wrist; Knee & elbow guards; and a good premium quality helmet.
Also remember to get the medium size fanny pack and keep something inside that can be a good cushion, if you fall backwards, for protecting the discs that you previously broke.

3) Practice skating in a REALLY LOW position, since the closer you keep your body to the ground, the harder it is to fall, and if you still do, the less likely you are to be hurt.

4) Stick with inlines and start gradually. Consider a LONGER FRAME too, with more rearward protrusion of the rear wheel beyond the boot heel

5) Skate the same outdoor circuit initially, so that you know every detail of the path and how to adjust in advance for any rolling surface issues.

6) practice falling - initially at slow speed by rolling off edge of path where you can land going onto soft grass and ROLLING as you hit it.
Later, as your falling skills improve, practice more at higher speed.

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Old August 7th, 2015, 09:39 AM   #8
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This is a skating forum.. of course you should return to skating.
Don't worry about falling. The more you stress about it, the more nervous it will make you and therefore the more likely it is to happen. Don't pressure yourself; be happy and relaxed, and just take what the day gives you.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:08 PM   #9
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Nostalgic and Armadillo nail it.

PRACTICE FALLING. Learning to fall is the MOST overlooked skill ever. You dont have to practice it on skates. You can do it on feet and get the same if not more benefit, by initially having greater control over the learning. Take tumbling, TKD (Tae Kwon Do), Gymnastics or other martial arts where they practice takedowns and falls.

I have fallen ALOT with pratice, and then a lot in real situations. I cannot remeber ever being hurt from a fall in the last ten years. I trained takedowns, and falling in my TKD class with attention to breaking down the fall into stages and eventually making them one smooth fluid movement. My sister had extensively trained and competed in gymnastics, well she fell down our stairs one day, large steep hardwood stairs. Not a scratch or bruise on her.

Also skating hard is almost a constant state of falling. Essentially if you dont complete another stride like crossovers your going to eat it at the end of your last kick.

Practice kicking. TKD is great for that, and teached the use and articulation of hips. I am a far better skater today than 10 years ago when I quit skating. I attribute most of that to my precision with my body movements practiced during TKD class. We did a lot of different things but always worked form every time. If the instructor saw a flaw during out kata (sequence of movements) we repeated it slower and corrected the problem.

If you loved it so much. Its a no brainer. Get skating.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:47 PM   #10
is skating again. WOOT!
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Good feedback above. If you're fearing falling, wear more protection until such time as your fear subsides. There are a lot of great padded shorts, which protect you well. ALWAYS wear a helmet.

Take it slow when you first stat out again and get back into the rhythm. I took about 7 years off and came back to mostly indoor speed skating, with a little bit of outdoor training. This is after having crashed quite "well" during a motorcycle road racing practice and fracturing my pelvis, tearing my left MCL, ACL, and meniscus, and left rotator cuff.

Like you, I feel some sort of depression when I have taken time off form skating, since it has been a part of my life for over 40 years.
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Old August 12th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #11
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Lot's of good advice, and I suspect if you do it all, you won't have time to skate, so problem solved.

One more thing from my experience (and subject to the caveat of working with a physical therapist or sports doc): falling on ice feels less scary to me (not because it's softer than asphalt -- it sure isn't -- but because you slide without getting scraped up). So if you like ice skating, that's a decent way to practice falling. If you are so inclined you could go in full hockey gear and not look out of place. For some reason figure skaters -- who need to fall a lot on a regular basis -- are minimal on protection even during practice, but there are padded shorts you can wear.

Ice sessions cost money, obviously, but it's a nice way to cross train, especially during hot summers.
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Old August 13th, 2015, 10:44 PM   #12
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Skating is like a lot of sports which require a mental edge. Consistency is the key to overcoming the emotional trauma you suffered in your crash. If you are physically capable and emotionally want to do this, then slowly get back on the skates and take baby "steps" till you feel comfortable. To be honest if I had suffered the injuries you had I'd have to think twice about my inline vice. Kudos to you for having the courage to try again as there is nothing like skating. Good luck with your decision.
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