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The joy of skating,
skating in the park

As I got up this morning and saw that it was raining again, I was sad. Although in Israel we usually pray for rain, it meant that I couldn’t go skating in the park. Instead I decided that it was time to write about the joy of skating.

I grew up in Haifa on top of the Carmel Mountains and in my hometown children hardly rode a bike, let alone skated, our parents were too worried because of the steep hills. I first encountered roller skates in the US when I accompanied my two girls and their school to a fun day in a skating rink. As I tried on a pair, I froze and was too scared to move, but then I looked at the rink in front of me, and suddenly realized that this was the closest thing to flying.

Too embarrassed to learn how to skate on my own, I decided to make it a team project. We got 3 pairs of wheels for me and the girls and practiced together outside. Of course, right away the girls were much better and much more graceful than me. Sadly, they didn’t take to skating, and after a short while got tired of practicing with me. As a result, for many years my skating career was put on hold.

Five years ago I lost my husband to cancer, three months later I moved into a house next to a park and. . . yes I got a pair of quad roller skates especially suited for the outdoors and started skating in the park.  In those difficult times, it was only when I skated that I experienced joy and felt hopeful about the future.  I have to admit that in the five years since I started skating, I haven’t improved much and most likely will never be able to skate gracefully. But, I love to skate and for me it is the closest thing to flying. Still, as I skate along the park, I often wonder how come  that other people have not yet discovered  the joy of skating? Couldn’t they see that this is the best sport in the world?

And if you’d like a more convincing reason to skate, here are the health benefist of roller skating from the Roller Skating Association’s web page. Some of these benefits include providing a complete aerobic workout and burning 350 calories per hour while skating 6 miles per hour or 600 calories while skating 10 miles per hour. In the 1980s roller skating as aerobic exercise flourished briefly. Roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits. The American Heart Association recommends roller skating as an aerobic fitness sport.