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AFTER THE WHISTLE

No fear

— When some guys go through their midlife crises, they buy motorcycles or fast sports cars.

Well, I may not be old enough or rich enough to go through a midlife crisis yet, but after a recent trip to Denver, my wife has come to the conclusion that I’m out of my mind.

That’s because during a stop at a Gart Brothers store I decided to purchase a pair of inline skates. I’ve always enjoyed ice skating and I felt as if purchasing the roller skates would give me incentive to get out and do something active while there were still a few weeks left in summer.

But the idea of me cruising around town on wheels with no brakes was a little scary for my wife. True, it may not be as scary as renting “The Exorcist” or “Alien” on Halloween night and then watching it all by yourself. But the idea of this 35-year-old reporter, with limited athletic ability, barreling down the Yampa River Core Trail on a pair of inline skates should keep at least a few joggers, dog walkers and cyclists awake at night.

It’s not like I’m completely out of my mind. Back in college, I used to ice skate every day at the University of Colorado’s recreation center. I still have a pretty good sense of balance, but that was a few years ago I was younger and the word “fear” had yet to enter my very limited vocabulary.

I had plenty of energy all the time and was in pretty good shape. But with time I have learned it’s not that hard to be in good shape when you’re 21. It’s a completely different story as you age.

So that’s one of the main reasons the idea of strapping a pair of skates on my feet seemed like a pretty good idea when I was at the store. Despite a few wisecracks, chuckles and predictions about my future health from my wife, I finally decided purchasing the skates was the right thing to do. It’s not like I’m going to start wearing baggy shorts and hanging out at the skatepark I’ll leave that to the younger generation.

I was just hoping to use the skates on the core trail at lunch every day in a way that would not threaten my health, or at least that’s what I was hoping as I tested the skates on the flat, level floor of the store.

Plus, inline skating has to be better than my current fitness program, which consists of watching major sporting events on television while eating butter-covered popcorn and drinking Pepsi at least it was Diet Pepsi.

I thought inline skating would be a great way to stay in shape before the snow flies and it would give me a chance to get out and see Steamboat from a whole new perspective.

I’m just hoping that perspective isn’t from a hospital bed at Yampa Valley Medical Center. My wife will never let me hear the end of it.

After a couple of weeks, I’ve discovered inline skating is a lot of fun, and I’ve even been able to work up a sweat as I make my way from point A to point B. I’ve also discovered a lunchtime trip down the core trail is a great way to experience Steamboat and is simply more exciting than trying to jog in circles around my Steamboat II neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered hills, and they are really scary.


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