Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ice to meet you

In the course of events in this thing I call my life, I need to mix things up. I’m not the kinda guy that you can expect to sit still for more than a few minutes at a clip, at least with my pants on…

REVEALED: This is how I cop so much time on SkateLog Speed Skating Forum.

I need to be busy. Need to be doing something. And no matter what it is, if I really find it interesting, I can become very disciplined, very quickly and develop routines that I’ll adhere to, religiously, for years without interruption. But once I start getting bored, the routines get hard to maintain, and I need to find something to spice things up, or I’ll start getting lazy and I’ll start relying on anything I can find to use as an excuse to get distracted from that thing I was so engrossed with that it became a part of my daily life and part of the definition of…me.

My career as Skatey Spice was short lived...I just couldn't bring myself to shave my legs.

I’ll admit it…I started getting bored with this thing of ours. That’s right. I started to become a slacker skater. If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’ve seen the ups and downs. What I’ve published here really only scratches the surface. And yes, my posts do tend to exaggerate the state of things, and go more for a cheap fart joke than any real substance, but that aside it’s a pretty honest portrayal of my skating life. I’ve added emphasis there because my skating life is truly more than roller skating, or, you know, inline speed skating. Ice has become a part of this thing I do. To the extent that I should really just say I’m a skater, as opposed to an inline skater, because the latter implies a singularity of purpose that just isn’t in my make up anymore. It’s like saying “I’m a road-skater,” or “I’m a trail-skater,” or “I’m an indoor speed skater,” or “I’m a marathon skater.” The label “inline skater” has become too restrictive. And since freedom is so much of what I love about this sport, I think saying “I’m a skater” is about as liberating as I can get. That said, inline is really my core so I’m not dumping the label. I’m just more open-minded about this thing I do.

We're just not coming at this from the same place.

Being one of such open mind, I decided that since nude speed skating is flat-out too dangerous and just wrong (God knows the view would be hanus trying to catch a draft,) 2011 is the year of doing things differently. By that I mean setting new goals, tackling new challenges and stretching past my comfort zone. It’s one thing to try to break a personal best time, whether it’s for 100m or 26.2 miles. It’s another to try to become somewhat competent in another discipline, and that’s what I’ve chosen to focus on. I’ve moved to ice. Not in the epic sense of a Jondon Trevena or Derek Parra or Chad Hedrick. No. Just in the sense of being me and trying something new. And it’s been a humbling experience, one that’s done the ego some good.

Taking a similar track to what I did my first year on inlines, I jumped right into the deep end of training and competing. Honestly, the main reason I haven’t been updating these pages all that much lately is that I’ve been using all the spare time I can find to get me some quality ice time on my new Marchese One boots and Marchese Zero blades. (Full disclosure…CadoMotus makes these Marchese’s, and CadoMotus is a sponsor of First Loser.)

These skates kick butt.

Yep…I’ve become a short track slut, puttin’ out on the ice as much as I can, and gettin’ my money’s worth out of the Ice Center Super Pass I bought in February. But I digress…

To really kick up the excitement a notch, I competed in my first ice meet earlier this season, The 2011 Colorado Speed Skating Championships. The meet was organized by Colorado Gold Speedskating, and they’re just awesome! anyway…this meet was a quick test of my ego-resiliency. Considering that my only real competition was a self-described “old lady” and some guys that have been doing short track for all of maybe eight months to a year, I was thinking I was on my way to gold, or at least the claim of having my First Loser status carry over in my ice debut. That wasn’t to be the case. I did pretty well, in that I got the entry fee’s worth out of the event by placing in my heats and skating all the finals, but the podium was a bit further away than I thought it would be.

Turns out I was competing in the masters division. So even though I was on the ice with the Bony Pony’s, or whatever we were being called, I was skating against those guys I was watching and going “Holy S#!t look at that!” So needless to say I didn’t come home with any medals (not even a freaking participation award or a chocolate bar) but I did skate away having had a great time and really falling for this new discipline. (Father’s pride: Freezy Weezy took third in his division!)

Freezy Weezy takes Bronze!

As it stands right now, I’m on the fence about NSIM this year. I honestly don’t know if I’m going to go. It’s a lot of effort for a little better than an hour’s worth of skating time. Yes, it’s the premiere event for me, no doubt. But I’m not excited about the idea anywhere near as much as I’m stoked to go to a short track clinic at the Oval in SLC in June, and compete here in Fort Collins at our first ice meet in October. I’m truly excited and I’m working hard to try to improve my technique so that I can show improvement versus what I did down there at the World Arena in April. That’s got me fired up man. Honestly, I miss that about inline. That same fire just ain’t there anymore.

DON’T GET ME WRONG DAMNIT! I still love inline skating more than any other sport. And now that the weather is somewhat improving here in NoCo I’ve been able to hit the trails with gusto again (94 miles logged last week!) and I’m truly amazed every time I skate in my Pro M1’s on the trail and feel truly in command of every facet of my stride, but it’s that, I don’t know, maybe it’s the novelty of new-found passion that I just don’t have for inline anymore. With inline, it’s like I have something to maintain. I’ve achieved a little something. With ice, I ain’t done s#!t, so I’ve got the world before me. And with a 1:07 500m time, I’ve got nowhere to go but up…at least I hope.

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Crazy F’in Glenn is at it again! Just to make things nice and tidy, he’s offered up a really schweet deal on Bont Patriot Short Track boots and Bont ice blades. Check it speed freaks:

Any in-stock Bont Patriot short track boots, normally $225, this month only, $175. 

Any  in-stock Bont Platinum blades (top-of-the-line!), normally $450, this month only, $375.

NEW – full custom Bont Patriot boots and Platinum blades, $1000!  Note that the blades alone normally retail for $450.  Shipping and applicable taxes extra, please.

Email Glenn today: glenn916@yahoo.com to get this crazy azz deal before it’s too late. Sorry Rick! (Inside joke.)

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Redemption on rollerblades

As regular readers know, from time to time I’m a rolling study in contradictions. For every utterance of “I’ll never do THAT!”, I’ve got a collection of equipment acquired on that particular path to glory, no matter what the endeavor. Yes, I say I won’t do “it” but inevitably, I end up…doing “it”. For once, you’d think I’d wise up and say something like, “I’ll never skate a marathon like Mantia and beat the pack by 5 to 10 minutes.” or “I’ll never skate as fast as Will Bowen.” No, for me it’s more pedestrian, something like “I’ll never do short track”, “I’ll never try yoga”, “I’ll never weigh more that 155 again”…so it goes.

Telecommuting isn't all Facebook and Skatelog and Cheetos...or is it?

13 pounds have become the bane of my existence. Despite all the skating, I just can’t seem to dump this extra weight. I know my metabolism isn’t running as high as it used to because I’m not skating anywhere as much as I was this time last year, but damnit man, it must be super freaking slow cause it seems that the harder I try to lose, the more I gain. So, knowing myself all too well, I decided it was time to stop thinking about the weight gain so much and just get out there and do something about it. So I broke out the Aero 10’s…

What's that black thing on the back there?

The Rollerblade Aero 10…my favorite pair of inline skates. These are the skates I lost 60 lbs. in. They were a gift from Rollerblade USA, and it was quite a few years ago. I remember Nick telling me how much more stability I was going to enjoy on a downhill with the new, larger 82mm wheels! He wasn’t kidding, but he also wasn’t telling me about 100mm wheels at that point either. Anyway and nonetheless, being blissfully ignorant of the “World of Rollersports”, I was just an overweight shlub trying to find his pecker again, trying to burn off that belly and look good in a Speedo. I don’t know if I ever got to the latter, but I definitely hit the former and as a result have less free time that I can account for.

Anyway…these skates, while they’re my favorite, they’ve been disassembled on a shelf for about 3 years. I’ve yet again done something I said I’d never do…I became a skate snob, avoiding anything like a fitness or recreation boot since I was able to break 1:30:00 for 26.2. Until I had trouble seeing “Little Elvis” again, then I went running back to them crying  and pleading like a dirty preacher looking for redemption from the flock he fleeced. Pathetic.

Luckily, they took me back because I was repentant. I was willing to use them purposefully and make things right again. I’ve been out on them in the wind putting in the miles, and it’s beginning to pay off. But it’s a long road. I’m glad I never got rid of these skates for good, they’re really useful.

When I was out there striding and gliding and trying to double push in fitness boots, I got to thinking about tonight’s season finale of NSC: Redemption. There’s been a lot of hype going into this event since the last time was so far off the hook. Harry Vogel really helped turn up the heat. He’s arguably the best thing to happen to NSC racing this season. Vogel is a fierce competitor. His style is downright belligerent; the way he moves out there is just violent. He’s getting the rest of these guys up on their toes.

The Hurricane pushes the pace, but can he actually win tonight?

I say he’s the best thing to happen, and that’s saying a lot, because this has been a great season. Without Mantia in there dominating the league, the door’s been opened wide for Will Bowen to move out front at take his place at the top of the ranks. The man has won every race but one. And that’s why tonight’s event is called Redemption, because he’s been such a dominating force, he’s left a lot of skaters on the comeback trail, all with something to prove.

Is NSC all about Bowen & Vogel tonight? Seriously…probably. I’ve heard that all the skaters are training hard, and Cheek is looking at tonight as a shot at vengeance, but I think a lot of folks are looking to see Vogel take the wins. That’s WIN with an S. Multiples. In my mind, this is the guy to watch. He’s the guy who was faster than Mantia at Indoor Nationals last year. He’s the guy who had the “hard time” at Worlds. He’s been first of his class to go off to ice. He’s the one whose been ridden out by Bowen for a season in the spotlight. He’s the one who needs this shot at redemption to carry him into the height of the 2011 season.

But then I get to thinking, there’s a lot more going on out there in Federal Way tonight. Josh Wood is making an appearance in the endurance event to make Justin Stelly work a little harder. To make it a little more difficult for some of those guys who like to hide out in 4th or 5th to move their way up when the laps get faster. You’ve got Jake Powers struggling to hold onto his Grand Champion title (which Wood is going to make an even harder task,) you’ve got Jeremy Anderson, S.Dot Carter, Michael Ringer, Keith Carroll, and all of these other guys who’ve been overshadowed this season. A lot of them have been out there on the circuit skating harder and faster this season, particularly within the last month, so tonight the skating should be fast and the competition ferocious.

But no matter what they do, in my mind it’s gonna fall short. Cause none of them will be in fitness boots with a heel break, trying to crossover at 28 mph with an extra three inches they need to clear.

I didn't think so!

That’s something I’d like to see. But, till then I’ll settle for the live feed. Click below tonight at 6:30 PST / 9:30 EST…it’s Turn and Burn Time, Bay Beeeee.