At the age of six I got my first pair of inline skates. My parents strapped a protection gear around my body so intense, that I could hardly move during my first test run. I was wearing knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet. Definitely safety first!
Even though I could hardly move, I was enjoying every second of it. My first pair of wheels made me feel independent. The world was my oyster and I could go anywhere I wanted to. Of course I was only allowed to go up and down the street in front of our house but that’s just semantics – I was free.
Since then I went through different skating phases. At the beginning my main focus was on distance; the further I got, the more independent I felt. Later on, as I got more and more comfortable moving around on wheels, I started playing roller hockey with my friends. Unfortunately, every single time we played someone got hurt; either by tripping over their own skates or by being hit by a flying ball or a stick. Obviously this ‘phase’ didn’t last long.
When I was around 8 years old my brother and I discovered skate parks. A skate park is a site especially created for skateboarding, BMX and inline skating; it is equipped with i.e. half-pipes, ramps and handrails. We would spend every possible second of our spare time at one of those parks. The skating lifestyle also took over our wardrobe; loose fitted hoodies and oversized jeans were a must. This phase approximately lasted until I went to high school, then I got distracted by too many other things.
Until this day I still love my inline skates. I did part from the skating lifestyle and the corresponding fashion but the feeling of freedom remains intact. When it’s not too cold outside and it isn’t raining inline skating is one of my favorite leisure activities. Not only does it bring me joy, it is also a great way to stay in shape. Inline skating combines agility, strength and endurance, so if you’re aiming for a lean and powerful physique I’d say: put on those skates!