Marital Status: Married
Have been skating for how long: That depends on what you mean by skating! I learned to skate on ice as a kid, but was never any good. Then I got serious about hockey skating in grad school, both for fun and as a way to work out. After graduating and moving to a place without a convenient ice rink, I tried inline skates in my late 20s, then put them aside. When my wife and I had kids, we signed the kids up for lessons at Northcross ice rink, so I took up figure skating for a few years. Then another 10-year pause! Finally, a year ago, my son Allan wanted inline skates for his birthday. I bought myself a pair, too, and with the help of the club, I've been totally hooked ever since.
Equipment Brand and Type: K2 Moto 90s. They're really comfortable, and a step up from the Exo 80s that I started with. Everybody keeps trying to talk me into buying racing skates with 110mm wheels, but I'm content with my 90s.
Life Philosophy: 1) Appreciate your gifts, whatever they may be, 2) Use them to help others, and 3) Go all out at whatever you do. Winning isn't everything, or even very important, but trying your hardest at whatever you do is what makes life exciting.
Favorite Time of Day to Skate: After sunset with a full moon out. There are few things more beautiful than a full moon rising over the Veloway! For the rest of the month, Saturday mornings and Wednesday evening are both fun.
Favorite Skating Event: The monthly DIY races. I love pushing myself to go a little faster and a little harder. I'll never set any records, but doing a little better than last month is always a thrill. My second favorite "event" is skating with my son Jonathan -- him on a bike, and me on skates, trying to keep up with him.
Awards/Competitive Wins: Who, me?! I'm happy just chasing the title of "fastest guy on rec skates". Still, I did finish the Road Rash in 2:06:35 this year, which counts as a win in my book.
Biggest Skating Adventure: My most memorable incident was also the stupidest -- going down Mt. Everest at the Veloway on a moonlight skate. I got to know the true meaning of road rash! Still, when I got home I posted a note on how much fun the moonlight skate was. When you push the envelope, you sometimes have painful consequences, but you always get an experience to remember.
What do you get from Skating: It's a bunch of things. Partly, skating is great exercise -- the same reason I took up hockey skating 28 years ago. It's also peaceful, being locked into an inner world while my legs keep pushing. Partly, it's a constant challenge, always trying to improve my form, to improve my control, to improve my stamina, and to improve my speed. But the best part is the camaraderie. The folks in the HCIC are as nice as nice can be and can always make me feel happy.
Would Like to Do This Year in Skating:My goals are to build up my stamina, so I can skate 6 laps or more without feeling completely spent. I'd like to take my time for a Veloway lap down to 12 minutes, or even less on a good lap. And I'd like to skate the Road Rash in under 2 hours. But meeting these goals isn't nearly as important as trying, and having fun along the way.
Coolest Accomplishment: Placing a giant pink tent structure on the Great Dome of MIT, thereby converting the dome to Mamma Maxima Scientiae (the Great Breast of Knowledge).
Other Sports/Hobbies you Enjoy: Skiing, soccer and hiking.
Mentors: Nicole Fisher and Steve Rogers. Steve introduced me to the club and has always given me encouragement and advice, while Nicole's energy and enthusiasm makes everything fun.
Helpful Advice to Beginners: Don't try to shortcut your transition from raw beginner to expert. Instead, savor the climb. Enjoy the thrill of sliding without falling. Enjoy the "aha" moments when you understand how a technique really works. Enjoy your first Veloway lap, your first timed race, and eventually your first marathon. Remember that you don't have to do it all at once, that you don't need top-of-the-line equipment, and that you don't have to become a speed demon. If you're racing (and you don't need to race!), you're only racing yourself. Just try to be a little better each time you skate, and eventually it will all come together.
Favorite Quote: "Those who would willingly sacrifice essential liberty for temporary safety are deserving of neither." - Ben Franklin.