I have been in-line skating since I was a kid. I started out with some no-name pair I got while visiting my Grandpa in Baltimore the summer I was going into the fifth grade. My mom and I spent a couple of weeks there while Grandpa rested and recuperated from surgery. It was a hot summer that year, I remember because my mom decided to roast a turkey (in the oven of course) when it was 104F that day! I would plan my skating adventures around the sun and wait until after 3pm to head outside.
Before that summer I had spent my time rollerskating up and down our street in my white and purple skates. Yes, I said rollerskates, remember those and the roller-rinks they use to have? And don't forget the popular Saturday afternoon or birthday party's spent at the rink. In the winter I took to the basement and skated around in circles. I wasn't exactly light on my toes...okay I'm still not but I just loved the feeling of cruising along the basement floor or on a freshly paved school playground. I was so excited when they resurfaced our street!
Fast forward twenty years and I'm still strapping the skates (and wrist guards) on and gliding my way along the beach path that stretches between Burlington and Hamilton. I use to get up at around sunrise on the weekend and head down to the waters edge. The lake is like a mirror at that time of day, usually there is a slight breeze and just a few other early risers along the path. Thinking about it now makes me want to set the alarm for Saturday morning...we'll see. ;)
I made my way down to the usual parking lot just past the lift bridge Saturday morning. I had my water bottle and MP3 player ready to go, strapped on the skates and hit the path. It was around 11:00 am by the time I got down there but the path traffic wasn't too busy. The weather was perfect and there was a good breeze in the air. I made my way along the path eying up my favorite yards, went past the go-kart track and hutches. People were already enjoying the patio at Baranga's and I could smell the hot dogs cooking at the beach side grill. With each stride I got closer to the loop where I usually take my first gulp of water and turn around to make my way back. Down at that end there are some great big trees and a few spots where the path is cool and shady. I usually slow down a little there but I don't stop. If I stop my feet feel like there are 10lb weights strapped on them and it makes getting going that much harder. I was feeling a little tired but pushed at the end making my way back to the parking lot, what a great workout!
I think I completed the 15km in a new record time of 54mins 30 second. I should start keeping a log. I know the first time out with my heart rate monitor had a time of 58mins so that's about a 4 minute improvement already.
I have skated in a few fund-raising efforts over the years and hope to do participate in more in the years to come. If you are a bike rider or rollerblader and have done the Heart and Stroke - Ride for Heart then you know how awesome it is to have one of busiest highways in Canada opened up just for you!
keep them doggies rollin' ;o)