For a while, I’ve wanted to take up a new hobby which would keep me fit, especially since I’ve learnt of the benefits regular exercise can have for your mental health. I’ve never really known where to start though: I always think I enjoy running and then come back, red in the face, saying “never again” (and the cycle continues like that), I’d feel nervous going to a new exercise class or popping to the gym for the first time on my own, and the uni swimming pool limits you to 30-40 minute swims. And then, an idea came to me last week…roller skating.
I got my first pair of roller skates (a garish lilac and pink pair of Groovy Chick quads) when I was around eight. I remember feeling really excited when I unwrapped them at Christmas, and four days later, with non-existent practice, I took to my wheels to act as a “waitress on skates” for my mum’s birthday lunch. I was terrified I was going to fall and spent most of my time taking baby steps along the carpet instead of attempting to set the wheels in motion. This is my only real memory of those skates – if I remember correctly, they then sat in the garage, accumulating cobwebs, for a good while before we eventually sold them.
I have not worn a pair of roller skates since. Ice skates, yes. I’ve only been ice skating three or four times before, but despite the amount of time I spent clinging to the barrier each time, I do enjoy it, and once I find my footing I really enjoy gathering speed as I glide across the rink. I have heard that roller skating is easier than ice skating, so I’m hopeful that I will be able to find my confidence with a bit of perseverance and regular practice.
I decided to buy myself a pair of SFR Rio roller skates on Friday evening, for a sum of £45. I was hesitant about spending this much on them, but my logic was, at least if I’ve spent that much, I’ll be motivated to make good use of them. These are the ones I bought:
I’m so excited for them to arrive and for me to be able to take to my wheels. I have high aspirations – if I can learn to skate confidently, I’d quite like to do a sponsored skate to raise money for mental health awareness, and then if I get really good (which will take some time and dedication!), I’d love to give roller derby a go. It’s the first sport I’ve ever been truly fascinated by, and despite all the aggression and injuries on the track, I love the sense of camaraderie between the roller girls. From what I gather, it’s a really supportive environment. I also love the whole notion of creating a persona for yourself – to me, it seems like a great confidence boosting method. I’ve even thought of a few roller derby names I could use myself if I ever started playing! Hopefully, I can go and see my first live bout soon – I’ve got my eye firmly on all upcoming events by the Auld Reekie Roller Girls.
Obviously I don’t know how it will go yet, but it feels so good to have finally found something new that I’m enthusiastic about.