Whether you like it or not, life creeps up on you like a vampire in the night thirsty for your free time. You get married, you get a job, kids get made, bills need to be paid, responsibilities pile up leaving you with less time to do that weird thing you enjoy doing, rollerblading.
This time sucking vampire has taken many of our best soldiers. With less time to skate it's hard to keep up those skills that make it fun and satisfying, leaving people to feel like they've "fallen off". The act of skating becomes a painful reminder that they can't do what they used to do. The agony of being stuck in an office on a beautiful day, thinking about the glory days can cause people to completely remove themselves from the blade game. But it doesn't need to be this way!
I filmed two full sections for Big Wheels, all while working full-time, being married, having a new-born baby, and buying a house which required a fuck load of fixing up. During this time I was only able to blade once a week if I was lucky, and often times more like once or twice a month. Although this sounds like bragging (and maybe it is), my goal here is to prove that it IS possible to kill it on the blades with a limited schedule, and to share what I learned along the way. Here are some things that will help busy people find success and satisfaction in their inline practice.
1. Skate Solo or with a Small Group
When you do get to escape the grind and hit the streets, you need to make the most of your time. Spend less of it waiting for people, organizing people, talking to people, picking up and dropping off people. Blade with people who understand that your time is precious and won't fuck around. Blade with those who are down to be productive, blade hard, film hard, and get shit done. This may sound counterintuitive to the whole "free unbridled lifestyle" we've lived in our youth and been sold as the best way to live, but if this is what you love to do it needs to be treated as sacred, and dare I say "Taken Seriously".
2. Wear your skates at work
Whenever you can, wear you blades. If you have a desk job, wear them while you're working. When you're watching TV at night, wear them. Less time on the blades means they won't get broken in the same as if you were blading all the time. And therefore won't feel and respond as well. Mitigate this issue by wearing your blades even when you're not blading. Don't be surprised when people around you think you're weird.
3. Don't be a Fucking Asshole
Vacuum, unload the dishwasher, feed the baby, make dinner, do the laundry, mow the lawn, don't be a slob, be kind, listen, don't be an asshole, don't be a lazy dead beat, get up early. Get shit done and be a nice guy and your wife will be way more likely to watch the kids for a couple hours so you can go for a rip. Earn it.
4. Standards Down, Self-Esteem Up
A brilliant and effective quote by blade wizard, Josh Silver. This mantra will help you enjoy the simple things you're capable of, and will reduce negative thoughts of sucking in your head. We all need to start somewhere. Build up slowly on simple things. If it means doing mizus for the first 30 minutes of your skating, or just rolling around, appreciate that you are outside, that you have 2 legs, that you're not in prison. Be grateful for what you can do, and you will discover more things you are capable of.
5. Rock a Delux Setup
Invest in skates that feel awesome. You work hard and you deserve it!
6. Life is Long
When you're getting frustrated because it's been a few weeks since your last session, remember that you have your entire life to skate. With the right exercise regime, there's no reason why we can't be blading when we're 60, 70, even 90! I'm dead serious. With constant advances in medicine, body upgrades, etc., just imagine where all that shit will be in 50 years. We might be the first generation of 150 year old bladers! How's that for wizard status. This is my dream, and this thought motivates me to keep fit and have fun blading, and makes not blading for a couple months seem completely insignificant.
7. Drink Less Booze
Alcohol kills your endurance, especially as you get older. It's also a depressant. I'm not advocating not drinking at all, because I love drugs, but I am advocating moderation. Don't drink every weekend. Take a month or two off. Compare how you feel when you've been drinking a lot to when you haven't been. Notice how well blade when you've been off the sauce. Let that motivate you to drink less. But when the time it right, when you really want to, get trashed, you deserve it! YOLO! But Brosky will be skating circles around you in the morning bitch.
8. Exercise Off the Blades
The number one cause of "falling off" is getting out of shape. There's no way you're gonna be capable of doing a stylish 540, or holding that alley-oop fishy if you've been sitting in a chair eating pork rinds for the last month. And if you are busy you can no longer depend on skating as your primary means of staying strong. Therefore, it's crucial to get exercise off the blades. For me I was so busy that even going to the gym was not an option. With travel time to and from you're looking at over an hour at least just to break a sweat. I recommend working out at home to cut out the travel time. There are a wealth of quick workouts on youtube you can follow along with and be pushing your body to the max in 20 minutes or less.
I invested in a 25lb kettlebell, and this has been an incredible tool for building full body strength, endurance, and balance. In about 20 minutes I can push my body to the max, take a shower, and be back to work, babysitting, or whatever needs to be done. Doing this a few days a week or more means when I put my blades on after being off them for a while, I may be a bit rusty, but at least my muscles are ready to pounce.