About Liz: Rediscovering the Joy of Roller Skating at 52!
Welcome to my roller skating journey! I am thrilled to share my personal story of rediscovering the exhilarating world of roller skating at the age of 52.
Late 70’s / Early 80’s – Some of Roller Skating’s Hey Days
As a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I skated at the roller rink at friends birthday parties and on a weekend night here and there, but I was far from a rink rat. Growing up, I roller skated primarily at a rink in Baker, LA called “Roller Ranch…later changed to Roseland Roller Rink” (Rink #1…it’s a storage facility now), but I also attended roller skating parties at a rink nearby in Baton Rouge, called “Leo’s Rollerland” (Rink #2), which closed in 2017.
My first pair of roller skates ~ 1980
Roller skating was a big deal in 1980, and I begged my parents for a pair of roller skates. What I really wanted was a pair of pristine white ankle boots (like figure skaters wore) with pom poms. What I ended up with was a pair of low top brown tennis shoe skates with blue wheels…similar to these Vintage Nash Adidas Cruisers. It wasn’t what I imagined, but it was better than nothing!
Skating in a Church Parking Lot in Zachary, LA
Having my own skates allowed me to skate in the parking lot of the church down the street, which I did a lot, especially during the summers. There was one small section of the parking lot that was really smooth.
I roller skated at the church with a girl that lived on my street, and we were obsessed with learning how to do figure skating type moves. We didn’t have a teacher….we just tried to figure things out on our own. It was random…but I always enjoyed it.
I didn’t go to the roller rink much after about 1982. I never roller skated as a teenager that I can remember. My parents and friends just weren’t into it, so childhood roller skating ended for me when I was about 12 or 13.
Random Roller Skating Through the Years with Our Kids
Many years later, when our kids were in elementary school, we sporadically attended “spirit nights” and birthday parties at local rinks near the Alpharetta, GA area including at:
- Roswell Roller Rink (Rink #3 CLOSED in 2004)
- Cumming, GA (Rink #4 CLOSED)
- The Cooler (Rink #5…it’s still open, but they only focus on roller hockey and ice skating…there is no traditional roller rink skating experience here any longer. Our son had a birthday party here, too.)
The Resurgence of Roller Skating During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, old school roller skating came back into focus thanks to several viral videos and the rise of trendy Moxi Skates. This resurgence was mostly centered around outdoor skating, but I definitely noticed it and thought I’d like to give it a try as well.
February 19, 2022 – A Late Birthday Present – Moxi Panthers!
In February of 2022, Eddy took me down to Skate Escape skate shop in Atlanta and we purchased a pair of Moxi Panther roller skates. I chose these primarily because I have really wide feet, and all of the research I had done led me to these as being my best mid-priced option.
The Moxi Panthers come with an outdoor wheel, so sometime soon after, I took them out to the Greenway in Alpharetta, and just gave it a shot roller skating on the Greenway. I wore all the safety gear, because I just wasn’t sure if I would remember how to skate. I roller skated back and forth on one particular non-hilly stretch of the Greenway and learned the following:
- I remembered how to skate!
- I didn’t fall!
- I had so much fun
April 7th, 2022 – Our Skate-aversary
The month of March 2022 was a bit of a blur….we were dealing with some pretty heavy stuff with our 17 year old dog, Raven, and her end of life. We lost her on March 25th, 2022. 🙁 A couple of weeks after that, Eddy decided we should go give my skates a try in a rink. He found the closest rink (Hot Wheels in Woodstock) and called and found out their least busy day (Thursday) and we made plans to go.
On April 7th, we went to a session at Hot Wheels (Rink #7). Eddy was on rentals, and I was on my Moxi’s….on the outdoor wheels lol, but honestly, I was grateful for how grippy they were. I was terrified to just step onto the floor…I needed to hold on to something, but there wasn’t really anything to hold on to! I ended up going to the very end of the rink and holding onto a doorknob of a door at the end of the rink and getting on the floor that way. I was happy to be skating and happy that I didn’t fall!
We went back to Hot Wheels on the 14th, then to Skate Country in Buford (Rink #8) on the 16th, then we did the roller skating lesson at Hot Wheels on the 19th, and Eddy bought his skates that same night from Ryan at Hot Wheels. And that was it….we were hooked and off to the races.
Union Hill Park & GA Old School Skaters
Soon after that, we started roller skating at Union Hill Park in Alpharetta, which is an outdoor rink (Rink #6). It has a super smooth concrete surface….smooth enough to use indoor wheels on. It’s only about 10 minutes from our house, and we just wanted to practice as much as possible. Sometime in April 2022, at Union Hill Park, we ran into Tony and Sheri who run the GA Old School Skaters Facebook Group. We joined that FB group and started connecting with other adult roller skaters, eventually expanding our rink visits to include more local rinks, roller skating while on vacation, and going on vacations to roller skating events adding more rinks:
- Skater’s Choice in Panama City Beach (June 2022 Rink #9)
- Rock It Lanes (also in PCB…this isn’t really a full rink…also June 2022 Rink #10)
- Sparkles Hiram (October 2022 for the big Shuffle Skating Event Rink #11)
- Sparkles Lawrenceville (November 2022 Rink #12)
- Sparkles Kennesaw (January 2023 Rink #13)
- See the full list of rinks we have visited so far »
Making Roller Skating TikToks & Sharing on Social Media
In December 2022, I started the @SkateTakesLiz TikTok page and started making TikToks about roller skating in local rinks. I was (and still am) obsessed with all these skaters around me doing all these cool things on the rink floor — from the super fast shuffle skaters (or pace skaters…there are different names for it) to the jam skaters in the center, to the roller dancers. Eddy and I just dove in and decided we could help the resurgence of roller skating by documenting and sharing. We hate it when roller rinks shut down, and hope that by sharing how fun roller skating as an adult is, we can help inspire more people to pick it up again.