In the last few months, I’ve been getting back into an old passion of mine: Skating.
Sometimes I will skate at an actual pay-to-get-in roller rink, but more often than not, I take advantage of a local municipal park, where I can go at my leisure, and it’s usually not too crowded.
Typically I go after work, which I get done with early in the afternoon. The place? Springettsbury Park.
That’s technically not in my municipality, but this is a nice big place
with lots of activity areas that are well used.
After changing and the short drive over, I
pop the hatchback on the van, where I sit in the back and strap on my
skates. I take my MP3 player and insert it in my phone holder case,
attach ear buds and hit “play.”
I grab my backpack with hockey pucks,
balls and my gloves and skate uphill to the rink. Skating uphill is not
much fun, just in case you don’t know that.
The rink is small
compared to an ice hockey rink, but OK. It’s placement is nice because
it’s right in the middle of the park and on a rise, so you can see lots
of stuff. Looking down the hill is the parking lot, basketball courts,
baseball diamond and a very cool playground. Looking up the hill is
beach volleyball (minus the actual beach … it’s just sand),
pavilions, a massive amphitheater that hosts concerts and a
football field. Looping around the park is a paved jogging path.
rink itself has walls about 3 feet up, and then above that it’s fenced
by chainlink that wraps around the entire rink, which is good because it helps stop misfired balls. The rink also has benches behind several doors on one
side. Also there’s penalty boxes and a record keeper area. The rink is
paved with smooth cement and marked off for short-rink play.
only once been there when someone else was there, that’s probably
attributed to my strange work schedule. It is clearly used by hockey
players because I have found stray pucks, drink bottles and scraps of hockey
tape laying around.
So with my music playing (which always is fun), I
empty out my backpack and put on my gloves. I set my backpack in front
of one of the goals as a very poor substitute for a goalie.
I then take my hockey stick and do laps around the rink and fire the pucks and balls into the net again and again.
main effort is to get the pucks into the net, but I’m also
practicing tight turns, speed boosts and quick stops while I do it.
shooting into the goal, I try not to aim for the center of the net
because that’s where the goalie would normally be stationed. Instead, I
aim for the crossbar and posts of the net, which are harder for a goale to
defend. The absolute best shots are the ones that hit a post or
crossbar with a “tink!” and then bounce into the net. Those are the
ones I’m most proud of.
I try to make the whole exercise period last
about an hour. In the last 10 minutes or so, I gather up all my stuff,
put it in my backpack and leave the rink. From there, I often skate the
long way around the jogging path back to my car, where I stow all the
equipment away and drive home all sweaty, sore and tired.
effort works most on my legs and calf muscles. But often I’m achy in
my abs too because you do a lot of scrunching and reaching with your
abdominal area. Sometimes my rib cage and diaphragm area hurts too because
of all the heavy breathing I’m doing.
I enjoy it so much, especially
since my music is blaring through the whole thing.
I often find myself
getting really antzy and eager to get back at it if I haven’t done it
for a few days. Quite frankly, it’s kind of exhilerating because of the
speeds you can get up to and the legwork involved.
So, I bet you’re wondering … “Dude? Why are you telling us all this?” Oh, I just wanted an excuse to try to load a video on to my blog.
Skating at Springettsbury Park in York County, Pa.
Hey, it worked! Awesome! We will now resume to our regularly scheduled comic-book discussions.