If you don’t already know it, skating rocks! I’m sure that many of you have been roller skating as a teen, shuffled around an ice rink at a Christmas market or even grabbed a skateboard earlier in life. But to do it as an adult is a whole different experience. It’s actually fun. If you’ve not been skating in years, I’m here to change all that. I want to get you skating!
I probably don’t need to tell you that it’s great exercise, but I do need to tell you what a lovely idea it is to go on a skating date with your other half. You get to hold hands all day, enjoy the exhilaration of going a bit faster than you should, help each stay upright and ‘kiss-it-better’ if you fall down! And with Valentine’s Day coming up in February, what better excuse do you need to try out your childhood hobby again? Okay, my husband and I take plenty of walks, have fun dates and go to lots of events, but roller skating combines all of my favourite experiences and then adds music. That’s how cool it is. And speaking of cool…
Over Christmas my husband and I went ice skating at Somerset House. I actually had no idea that we were going to skate, we were just planning a day out in London to see the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy… or so I thought. We were visiting London just before my birthday and hubby had planned a surprise ice-skating session as a special birthday treat. After a big hug we skipped towards the festive rink, snapped some excited photos and buckled up our ice-skates.
Having only tried to ice-skate once before in my life (and not been all that great at it) my first few steps onto the ice were rather wobbly. I’m usually alright with roller skates, having done a lot of skating as a child (I was utterly fearless at the age of 10!) so feel at home skating around a roller rink. But ice-skating is a completely different experience. I think the slippery ice adds extra jeopardy to an activity that’s already throwing me off balance – you should see me hobbling across the carpeted area after I put my skates on. As accomplished skaters whizzed past me and nervous shufflers like me gripped the sides of the rink, I bravely stepped out onto the ice and immediately had to cling on to my husband to stay upright.
Thankfully they have a training area at Somerset house (not just for kids, phew) and some fantastic Ice Guides who were happy to teach me a thing or two about skating, including going forwards (check me out) and stopping again without crashing into the barriers (bonus)! After a short tuition session I felt much more confident on the ice and soon hubby and I were gliding (erm, maybe ‘scooting’ would be a better word here) around the rink hand-in-hand. It was then that I decided that needed to do more of this!
My nearest ice rink is a couple of hours drive away so I’ve been trying to find roller-skating rinks and, honestly, they ARE still out there! And of course, skate parks are popping up all over the place for younger folk and there’s a whole new generation of skaters coming up, so I can’t see roller skating rinks closing down anytime soon either. You don’t need your own skates, you can hire them if you wish – but bring extra pairs of socks to minimise the chance of blisters. If you want your own, specialist retailers like the SkateHut have all kinds of roller skates, ice skates and inline skates.
Just doing a bit of research about my nearest roller rink at Bury confirmed that this would make an ideal date for my husband and I. Firstly, there’s food; you can get classic American-style meals for under £5 each. Secondly, there’s even a bar; yes, they have beer, wine, spirits or (what I’m most excited about) slushies! On top of all this, the rink has a games room with my favourite arcade game: air-hockey tables. Add to this a state-of-the-art sound system and all I can say is bring on the roller disco woo!
So what do you think of my ideas for a cute valentines date with your beloved? (find more free date ideas in my Valentines blog post) Would you consider taking up roller skating as a fun way to exercise? Is there an ice-rink or roller skating venue near you? I’m definitely gong to give it a try this year and report back! Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy. See you on the ice!