Sometimes in life you come at a cross roads where everything changes. For my health I have reached that point this year. After a major low point, it is finally getting better again. But to further strengthen my health I should exercise more. This is actually easier said than done, because of my knee problems which I’ve had for more than 15 years already and which will never really end. The only sport I could do according to my physical therapist and chiropractor is roller blading and skating. So previous winter I went skating regularly when I had the energy for it, but winter is officially over and so is the skating season. Which means it’s time for roller blading.

Roller blading
Like most outdoor sports it is wise to take up lessons before entering the street. Since it had been over 10 years ago since I had been on roller blades, I can’t really brake and I don’t want to end up under the car or truck, I signed up for a roller blading course. Through I found a basic course for beginners. This course consisted of four lessons and was held in the Zuiderpark in The Hague. So nicely compact and close by. The costs were okay, so for an unemployed me that was the push I needed to just go for it.

Full of good spirits and healthy nerves I showed up at my first class. The day had started pretty misty, but at the beginning of class the sky cleared and the sun came out. The first basic techniques were about how to fall down safely, make O-movements and brake by pushing your legs out as wide as possible and then bring the inside of your feet to the ground. The second lesson was the week after that. Because it had been raining we couldn’t use the skate rank, so we moved to the nearest road in the park. We repeated the techniques from the first class and learned some useful new ones, like make a braking curve and the beginnings of braking with the brake block.
This lessons had an extra challenge besides mastering the new techniques, because we had to do this while avoiding other roller bladers, joggers, bikers and cars.
During the third lessons we had to practice on a parking lot. We expended the braking technique which we started with the previous lesson. Finally I could brake! After that we learned how to avoid obstacles by stepping over them. First we just went straight ahead, stepping over a bar which started low to the floor, but was raised a little bit more every time we all mastered the previous height. I was really doing well and conquered even the highest bar without falling (as I was the only one to achieve that). Next up was stepping over the bar sideways. At my first attempt it all went terribly wrong and I fell down really hard on my tailbone. It all happened so fast, that I couldn’t even apply the falling technique from the first lesson. Unfortunately this also meant the ending of the course for me, because with a bruised tailbone I couldn’t finish the third lesson and couldn’t do the fourth lesson either. The contents of the fourth lesson will remain a mystery for me.

Even though the third lesson ended painfully, I still recommend this course for people who have never roller bladed before or haven’t done it in a while. You get to learn good basic techniques to enter the road for safely and secure.

Home training
Besides roller blading I have also started working out at home. I’ve been busy with the 30-day Squat challenge to tighten my but and upper legs and to further prevent my knees from hurting. I also do a series of abdominal exercises to flatten my belly and love handles.
Unfortunately I forgot to take some pictures at the beginning of the process, but I think I can see difference already.
By the way, this is not a way to lose weight, because you convert fat into muscles and muscles weigh more than fat. So don’t use the scale to measure your progress, use the mirror instead.