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.
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…
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.
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.
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.