For years, I had heard that a giant forest preserve park near my home has a lovely, paved, no-cars-allowed road running through it that would be a good place to skate. I usually skate elsewhere, but today was a blessed reprieve from the recent heatwave, so I thought I would hit the trail. Problem was, the park is over 500 acres of greenbelt, and I had no idea where the entrance to the trail was.
Actually, not really.
I spent today at the park learning how to skate down hills. This was probably one of the more terrifying experiences of my life, but I somehow managed to make it out unscathed. I also didn't kill any pedestrians. My teacher kept saying to stop being scared... dude, it's SCARY! Also, I'm sorry, but if I can sense that I will crash into that person you just told me to avoid by doing a fancy turn, I'm not going to listen. I'm teachable, but not stupid.
Strictly speaking, this is not necessary for derby, but I think the more I skate and the more confident I get on my feet, the better of a skater I'll be. Skating down hills and in parks with people all around will be good for practicing slalom turns, and for working on darting in and out of tight spaces. I figure it will also be good for practicing reacting quickly to unexpected obstacles.
I have a lot to practice!