So, I thought I’d start the year off with a personal progress report.

Eh, who am I kidding? Actually I’m just hoping that one day I’ll be able to look back on this entry and laugh. Laugh at my pitiful freshie woes! (Hey future me – I hope you’ve finally nailed those plow stops).

Anyway, I’ve now been skating for nearly four months – since 6th September 2015. I’m really not exaggerating when I say that I was a complete and utter lost cause when I first rolled, flailing, into the sports hall for the fresh meat taster session. But, whether by magic or by masochism, I somehow plucked up the courage to show my face again, and eventually graduated the 12-week fresh meat program in December.

According to my estimates, I’ve accrued 66 hours of skating practice since I began. At first a lot of this was skating outdoors, but less so since it’s been getting darker and wetter. Roller disco on Friday has been a major source of practice, but since it’s been the off-season in my league, I’ve had free reign of the sports halls to practice my moves.

At the time of writing, I’m feel like I’m finally getting confident on my feet. Whereas before I was constantly anxious and often lost my nerve or my balance, now I can recover quickly and stay upright. Or at least manage to fall sensibly onto my knees, rather than in a sorry heap on my arse.

My stops and falls need a little work, because I’m atrocious at practicing them. Most importantly, my plow stops are total trash. I’m only managing about 25%  of my attempts properly. The rest of the time I seem to either just keep on rolling (no power), or I try and plonk my bum down too soon and lose balance. My two-point knee taps are still a little too much like two-point knee “crashes”, which isn’t fun on the joints.

My sticky skating is fine, and my weaving the track is okay, but the 5ft cone-weaving still eludes me.

For timed laps, my 3-lap backwards PB is a nice 00:48, but sadly my official timed lap came in at 01:00.78. Forwards, I managed 28 laps in 05:55, and 9 laps in 1:45 (which x3 is 5:15).

Forward crossovers feel much smoother and I’m getting more power in them, but my reverse crossovers are still so clumsy and weak.

Transitions are getting much better, and backward to forward is getting easier with practice. I’ve been relying a lot on a sort of narrow pivot movement using my toes and heels, but I’ve been advised to keep practising the 1-2-3 step movement with the transitional mohawk. It’s tougher, but hey.

Grapevines and side-stepping is probably the worst of all, I can’t seem to keep steady whatsoever, particularly when passing my foot behind.

My jumps are a joke. An attempt to practice 180 hops on tarmac has led to my toe-stops becoming utterly shredded too. Idiot.