I love this time of year: birds chirping in flowering trees, warm breezy afternoons with the sun shining down and providing some much-needed vitamin D, and daylight stretching long into the evenings. And if the last year has taught me anything, it’s to seize any opportunity to get off the couch and enjoy all that the world has to offer beyond the confines of my room. Something that’s inspired me this spring to get outside was purchasing a pair of roller skates.
I hadn’t skated in years. I used to go to the local roller rink for birthday parties or other events a couple times every year, skating around and around in circles with my friends before we ended the night dancing to the Cha Cha Slide in our socks on the wooden floor.
Unfortunately, that skating rink was torn down a few years ago, and with TikToks like this reminding me how fun it is to skate, I decided to get my own pair.
I purchased mine from Impala Skates. I’m certainly no expert on roller skates, but they’ve worked just fine for my beginner needs, and a nice bonus is all the cute colors and patterns. They go for around $100—certainly not cheap—but I wanted a pair that wasn’t going to fall apart after a week. Also, I think it’s always worth it to invest in things that will inspire you to try new things, be active and make memories.
Once I opened the box and laced them up, I was slightly terrified. I hadn’t skated since I was a kid, and even then, that was indoors in a controlled environment with padded walls to stop me if needed. Plus, I worried that now I’m far too old to be walking around with scraped-up knees.
I felt like a clumsy baby deer at first, unsure of my own footing. But sure enough, the muscle memory started to come back, and my confidence has grown more each time I skated, although I still haven’t perfected that whole stopping thing.
I’m not quite feeling bold enough to skate in a crowded area yet—I’ve stuck to more secluded trails so no one will witness me completely wipe out (I haven’t yet, knock on wood, but I’ve come quite close). But practice makes perfect, and maybe soon I’ll be cruising down Jayhawk Boulevard.
A huge perk of skating is that it is a legit workout—certainly not as intense as running, but I’m definitely feeling the burn after a while, especially if I’m skating uphill (and with these Lawrence hills, it’s hard to completely avoid an incline). I pretty much hate running, so skating is a really good compromise to still be outside being active without being miserable.
It’s even better if you can convince your friends to buy a pair along with you, because then it’s a really nice activity to do with friends that’s not just staring at a screen together. Or if I’m skating by myself, I love listening to podcasts or to Spotify (I even made a playlist specifically for skating) and having time to think and reflect on my own.
Either way, it’s such great self-care. It’s fun and freeing and reminds me of being a kid, in the best way.
I hope that this testimony will inspire you to start roller-skating, or to branch out and try any sort of new outdoor hobby, whether it be biking, disc golf, skateboarding, hiking, or whatever else. Never underestimate the regenerative power of fresh air and sunshine and take any chance to get outdoors this summer.