Our columnist-at-large Frank Stoner recently skated for this short section with Michael Langhausen on camera. As a seasoned, meaning old, beat-up blader, Frank was trying to get a glimpse of the real abilites of his decrepit body. So, continuing, here’s what Frank himself wrote about the project: “It was important for me to make this section because it serves–for me–as a kind of signpost on the landscape of where I’m at in rollerblading right now. Like everybody else, I have wonderful memories of particular sensations from skating: the feeling of a smooth grind around a bowl corner, the feeling of a well-tucked air, the pride in picking out a trick and being able to do it (more or less) on command”.

Intro: Josip Jagić
Words: Frank Stoner
Video: Michael Langhausen

Things like that have been memories of feelings for me because I’ve gotten out of shape and haven’t been doing as much actual skating as I’d like during the last few years. Being out of shape has reminded me of how much I miss those sensations and how much skating (and effort) there is between where I’m at now and being able to feel those kinds of feelings again.

When I think of everything my body needs to be doing for any particular trick, I feel like everything still remembers what it’s supposed to do. My shoulders know their assignments, my feet know their assignments, my hips and arms and hands all still remember what they’re supposed to do and what skating is supposed to feel like–and yet, it’s not quite right.
Lots more skating and lots more weight loss stands between me and feeling really good about my skating again, but I think it’s important to have a long stare in the mirror every once in a while -especially when big changes to habits and lifestyle are on the table.

I’m indebted to Luke Bender (whose ramp this is) and I’m grateful to Michael Langhausen for putting this edit together. I’m also very happy to have gotten permission from Stop Motion Orchestra for use of their song Way to Sarov.

It’s not all that easy to publicly take a long, cold stare in the mirror, but I’m happy to have rollerbladers with me while I do it.