Tuesday, 13 March 2012

You Get What You Pay For

Ok it's been extremely quiet on the blog front. Firstly, after saying I wouldn't inundate the blog with post after post on skating, its all I can think of blogging about. Secondly, every free moment I have I'm spending skating. Hmmm ... obsessed much? Maybe :)

I've been skating for at least an hour a day. Mostly I'm just in the house skating back and forth up the hall, practicing my balancing (often while cooking dinner), trying out different types of stops, doing squats, and moving furniture in our lounge room so I can (barely) practice my cross overs. Sometimes I just leave them on all day so that I can get used to all sorts of movement on them.

But as I started trying new and more difficult things I realised that my cheap as chips skates were holding me back. I definitely needed new stoppers and, particularly for Rollerfit, I needed new wheels.

Luckily I still had a bit of money left from my birthday so I ordered the stoppers I wanted and a new set of wheels, in purple. The stoppers especially had been causing me issues. They were too hard and had no grip. So as soon as they arrived I grabbed my skates but to my dismay they didn't fit. My cheap skates didn't have adjustable stoppers! Which was something I had never heard of until it meant I couldn't put my new pretty gumball stoppers on.

It turns out that seeing I had bought my skates thinking more about price than researching what you needed to look for in decent skates, I had bought duds.

Well that's not exactly fair. Before I bought the skates I had spent ages looking for some I could borrow. But no one I knew had any. I didn't even know if I could stand in skates anymore, and I certainly didn't know that I would get as excited about skating as I have. I could have skated for a few weeks and decided I didn't like it after all. Or I could have fallen over, scared myself and decided never to skate again ... again. So with those things in mind buying cheap skates was a logical choice.

But I do love skating. It's like AB and his motorbikes. I spend time when I'm not actually skating researching products, moves and techniques. Reading up about roller derby rules and fresh meat criteria. Or watching videos of other skaters to be inspired.

Anyway I digress, the stoppers didn't fit. After a mini meltdown I decided to try the wheels. They were amazing. Compared to the others I suddenly had so much more dexterity, especially on that rubbery surface at rollerfit. But after a few days I noticed a major flaw in my skates. When I lean from side to side on them, as you have to for a lot of moves, my skate boots were so rolly and cheap they they bent and hit the wheels. As you can imagine that is not only limiting but downright dangerous.

But what to do? I mean the ones
I have are still virtually new!

Today I picked up my new (and considerably more expensive) skates. They are still cheap as far as roller skates go but they are reputable as a great starter skate with the idea that I will get years out of these versus months. I actually bought a fresh meat package so I as well as skates I got knee, elbow and wrist pads, a mouth guard, skating helmet, toe guards (to stop you ruining the toes of the actual skates) and some new bearings.

As soon as I got home I changed the stock wheels for my better purple wheels, changed the bearings, finally got to put on my gorgeous gumball stoppers, and just cause they came with the package, the toe savers.

I'm nervous! I think I may have to relearn some of the things I have just begun to master (particularly crossovers) but in my 15 minutes on them this evening I am already amazed at how much easier it is to balance and the boots are much better quality, so no more hitting my wheels as I lean.

The only downside so far is because they are new and not at all worn in they are tighter around my broken toe ... oh did I mention three weeks ago I broke my pinky toe after stubbing it on our skirting boards (I kept skating though! Yes I am that obsessed) and its still incredibly tender.

In the beginning I thought I would spend $90 on a pair of skates. I'd skate around on the street a little. I'd maybe get my wits about me enough to do a bit of bike track skating and then ... well there was no 'and then' because I didn't even know if I could stand up yet :). What then happened was a gorgeous friend sent me a link to these rollerfit classes. I realised not only could I stand but I could learn, and with practice maybe even master, new skills. And yes, me, the woman who loathes exercise has found an activity which she happily sweats her butt off at twice a week and in fact she wishes she could go even more.

I have walked past them a few times tonight and they almost bought a tear to my eye. I'm so excited. Suddenly Sunday seems to far away. But the thing that is the most amazing to me is just how excited I am generally about skating. I've realised how much without knowing it I have been longing for a hobby. Something that was just for me, that nurtured that part of my soul, that wasn't about the kids, or earning money, or cleaning the house or all the other important parts of my life. But is just frivolous, fun and playful.

Watching - Nothing, I'm to busy skating (although I did watch Whip It this week:)
Reading - The Hunger Games trilogy
Listening - My iPod is on random
State of mind - Wildly optimistic and joyful

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