Getting Back in the Skates

8 tips for outdoor rollerblading
Published August 16, 2017

By Bailey Swilley

When I was a kid, I loved going to the skating rink — not necessarily because I loved skating but because I loved all the boys at the skating rink. However, living in the city has renewed my skating joy. So many times in Central Park and McCarren Park, I’ve seen skaters truly living their best life on their in-lines. So, what did I do when I fell in love with these spankin’ new skates?

I went to the park and skated my heart out — 12 laps around the McCarren Park track, to be exact. I worked muscles (mostly in the hips) that I guess I’ve been neglecting all this time because dang, I can feel it today.

8 Beginner Tips for Rollerblading

If you’re thinking about taking up skating, I highly recommend the following:

  1. Don’t leave the house in your skates. Wear sneakers and place them somewhere so you can pop the skates off as soon as you’re ready. You could even carry them in a light backpack.
  2. Make sure you know how to brake before you set off.
  3. Stay away from hills in the beginning.
  4. If you’re skating on a track, use the outer loops.
  5. Bring water — it’ll be more exhausting than you think.
  6. Take breaks because your helmet and gear will heat you up pretty quickly.
  7. Wear your wrist guards — I totally broke my wrist skating when I was 8.
  8. Smile!

Is it as fun as it was back in the day? Yes, I think so! Because I could feel my body working hard and there was an immediate rush…of not wanting to fall on my butt.

Did I feel like a bit of a goober? Of course! I was covered in protective gear from head to toe! Do I care? Not even a little. I guess that’s the biggest difference between adult me and middle-school me.

One of my favorite things about the summer is taking time to do things that brought me joy as a kid, whether it's biting into a crisp slice of watermelon, taking a dip at the community pool, or strapping on some inline skates. What will you do to bring the magic during the late summer? Tell me on Connect @heybailay.

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