Last week when I was on vacation, I didn’t land my foot on the ice rink. Fortunately, the home we rented for the week was a three-minute drive to the skatepark and a hockey rink. I woke up early each morning and went to the skatepark to do some drops in the bowl. I also used the hockey rink to practice 180 jumps, backward crossovers, T-stops, and the spread eagle, which my son Đạo taught me.

Lately I have been addicted to practicing. I tried to hit the skatepark in the morning when the weather was still cool. This morning I made a drop from the highest ramp in the skatepark. I didn’t fall or break any bones. When I first started rollerblading, my goal was to be able to skate steadily on flat biking trails. I never imagined I would do the drops on ramps and pipes, but I pushed myself just a tiny bit at a time.

As the pandemic started, I picked up rollerblading. I could not skate around the basketball court for fifteen minutes without hurting my feet. Bike rails were scary for me, especially rails with downhills. I used to do the grass stop, in which I just ran into the grass area. Then I skated on straight tiny ramps, then a bit curved ramp, then higher curved ramps. Once I learned the proper technique and got over my fear, I could drop in safely. I hadn’t fallen yet. The adrenaline rushed in every time I let myself off those high ramps.

In addition to doing the drops, I am learning one or two techniques at a time. Skating is becoming like reading. I skate to keep my body active and I read to keep my mind active. The feeling of learning something new for my body and mind is so gratifying. As with reading, I wish I started to skate at a much younger age; therefore, I am giving my kids all the opportunity to do so, but they seem to lack the focus. They learned the techniques much quicker than I could, but they don’t want to practice. I am not making them practice 8 hours a day. Getting them to practice for an hour and fifteen minutes every other day is even a struggle. I am finding myself in a dilemma. Should I push them or should I give them the freedom? If I give them the freedom, they rather play video games and just give up skating altogether.

Bonjour Vietnam