What did you love doing as a child or young adult that you’d love to revisit but think you’re too old? For me it was roller skating. Up until 16 I lived on my skates; they came everywhere with me. Over the years I have come across women still rollerblading in later life and some even starting Roller Derby, but I'd convinced myself I was too old and would probably be a bit like Bambi on ice. I am still regretting that I didn't take the opportunity to try it whilst in L.A. last year as Venice Beach is the place to do it. I still had the little voice in my head holding me back in case I made a complete fool of myself, I guess old habits really are hard to break. Well, as promised at the beginning of this year on my blog I wanted to try new activities and step out of my own comfort zone, so I’ve started with roller skating. I came across the Roller Girl Gang, based in Leeds through social media and just knew I had to get in touch. The Roller Girl Gang was created in 2015 by two friends Len & Mel, both primary school teachers and mums and what I love is their mission to make skating as a sport, accessible to everyone, whatever the level or age. The Roller Girl Gang has people of all ages regularly attending , even a couple in their seventies.
I had a private 1hour lesson booked with Mel and entered the large empty sports hall with a mixture of real excitement and worry. My main concern was falling over and injuring myself, especially after breaking my wrist in 2018 and that was without wheels on my feet! The last time I wore roller skates, they were the ones you had to strap to your shoes , by the time the roller boots became popular I'd moved on.
Mel made sure I was kitted up with all the right protective gear, elbow, knees and wrist pads which helped put me at ease and off we went. I was really hoping it would be like riding a bike and that it would just come back to me quickly and although I was very tentative at first, I’m happy to report it did. Whilst I enjoy swimming and have tried hard to get on with couch to 5K I'm still on the search for a sport that I really enjoy and roller skating might well be it.
It reminded me of that sense of freedom I used to get when I was younger, it’s exhilarating and great exercise too. It wasn’t long before I was skating around the hall without feeling like I was about to lose it. At times I felt like I was moving really quickly but when I’ve watched the video, I really wasn’t at all. Work in progress! In an hour I did manage to skate backwards, stop which is always helpful and do the Lemon! I watched in awe as Mel showed me some of the more technical skills which right now I can't imagine mastering, but I enjoy a challenge.
Roller skating has so many benefits to both your health and mental well being. It's classed as an aerobic exercise and is good for improving your balance and co-ordination. The Girl Gang hold weekly sessions and beginners classes so I can see it becoming a real part of your social calendar. It's definitely a mood booster. I came home smiling and already thinking about when I can go again.
So what's stopping you? It's never too late to try new things and you never know, you might find something new that brings new pleasure in your life. Jo Moseley @healthyhappy50 is a classic example of this. Jo started paddle boarding in her 50's and has now found a new passion in her life, you can find her most weekends out on the canal or the sea. Last year she became the first women to stand up paddle board the North, coast to coast from Liverpool to Goole along the Leeds Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation. 162 miles through Merseyside, Lancashire and Yorkshire. So you never know where taking those first steps to trying something new might lead to!
To find out more about the Roller Girl Gang please visit https://www.rollergirlgang.co.uk/
What should I try next?
Keep being fabulous