Hockey has been a big part of my life ever since I was a munchkin. I got my first pair of ice hockey skates shortly after I could walk and then spent the next 18 years of my life eating, sleeping, and breathing ice hockey. So naturally I’ve been conditioned to have a negative attitude toward people who play roller hockey. It’s even worse for people who rollerblade and aren’t even playing hockey. I had to swallow my pride my sophomore year of college when me and some of my buddies joined a local roller hockey league, I had to get a pair of blades. It took a while for me to warm up to it but it became a decent alternative because my school didn’t have club or intramural ice hockey, roller hockey was the next best thing. We spent two seasons beating up on the local adult league teams before I transferred schools and headed to Tufts. Since then my rollerblades have been in storage at my parents house.
I realized part-way through this month that my rollerblades still existed so I had my parents bring them down on their next trip to Boston so I could use them for a day of fitness. They managed to escape my 100 Item Challenge last November because they were already stowed away up in Maine. In the spirit of this month’s fitness experiment, I decided I would give rollerblading a try, just to see if it was a legitimate form of exercise. Every time I run or bike along the Charles River, I see people rollerblading. I die a little bit inside each time I see people use that heel-stopper to slow down, ugh, maybe you’d only understand if you were a hockey player, it drives me crazy. I had memorial day off from work and it was a beautiful day so I decided it would be a great idea to do some rollerblading.
Believe it or not I actually had a decent workout. I rollerbladed for 10 miles and really tried to push myself pretty hard on the straightaways. I got my heart rate up, got my lungs going, and pumped my quads until they wouldn’t stop burning. I even passed several people riding their bicycles (wah wah wah, sad trombone for the bikers). I saw half a dozen other rollerbladers out cruising the Charles River bike path as well. I felt pretty weird now that I was one of them but the heart rate, tired legs, and sweat drenched clothing helped to redeem the value of this kind of workout for me. It was extremely low impact but still gave me a great workout. My min/max/average heart rate was 91/155/137.
I wouldn’t say that I’m going to put rollerblading immediately into my weekly workout routine. I still can’t get over the mentality that I’d rather be playing hockey instead. With that being said, I would definitely do some rollerblading if I were coming back from an injury. I typically bike when I’m sore, injured, or recovering because it’s low impact on my joints. However, when I had a hip flexor problem last year biking was out of the question because of the demands it places on those muscles. Rollerblading would have been a perfect workout to maintain my cardio and keep my quads in shape.