I've decided to take up speedskating. Why? Because there's spandex involved. Well, not really, but it does seem like all my other sports do involve an inordinate amount of lycra. Swimming-speedo, Cycling-shorts and jersey, rowing-unisuit (think modest wrestling suit), and now speedskating which involves essentially more cycling gear. Why speedskating you ask? Hmm, again, true to form it's a relatively obscure endurance sport rewarding technique and stamina and filled with lactic acide and pain. It's fast and graceful. My real wish is to do long-track speedskating like the olympics, but there are only a handful of 400m ovals in north america, and none of them are here in town. Short track can take place on any regulation hockey rink, so that is a possibility. There is a speedskating club here in town, but I'm not sure I can justify the club dues and the equipment on our student budget. So, that leaves us with off-ice speedskating, which is inline skating.
In the good ol' days of 8th and 9th grade, I used to skate frequently on my trusty Bravoblades by Rollerblade. Since I no longer sport a men's size 7 shoe, those skates are long gone. I have instead decided to work my way into speedskating from the ground up, using cheap-o recreational skates until my legs are ready for more advanced skates. Craigslist was good to me on thursday, and I got a pair of skates, pads, and a bag all for $60.
I tried them out in the park that evening and fell back in love with skating. It's like running only faster. I went to the larger park here in town and managed to skate the 5 mile circumference in about half an hour. At least now I have a baseline to compare myself with.
Since there don't seem to be any local inline clubs, I have been using Youtube for technique and tips, although I might have to spring for a book and maybe try to find some real people to work with as well. My current goal, pending a match at my #1 in Minnesota, is to to do the North Shore Inline Marathon near Duluth. We'll see...