My Movement: How Roller Skating Allows Me To Be Myself

We chat to our favourite fitness fans about the movement that motivates them


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This month, Marina Alves tells us about how she got into roller skating, and why it’s such a great way to move.

Were you always into fitness?

Not really! I never liked going to the gym but I’ve always been active. I loved cycling, jogging and going for walks. During the pandemic when we could only go 2km from home, I decided to exercise at home with workout videos.

How did you first find roller skating?

The workout videos weren’t challenging anymore and gyms and dance studios weren’t open. A friend got roller skates for her birthday and in less than an hour I had placed an order. I started researching roller skating on YouTube and discovered a new world. Even before the skates arrived I was in love.

The joy and journey of learning to roller skate as an adult, discovering how my body moves, how to control my mind, facing the fears of falling and learning to balance on eight wheels just motivated me to skate again and again. When I started skating I was struggling with anxiety, it made me be present, focused and balanced.

I think the breakthrough moment was when I was skating in public for the first time and I couldn’t stand still. I was so conscious of other people. Then a friend said ‘strangers will forget about you in 30 seconds, focus on your journey, not the people around you.’

What do you love most about roller skating?

I love the supportive community around me and being able to be myself. I don’t need to be the best skater, do the fastest spins or the most advanced dance steps. Skating has brought me independence and confidence.

What are the misconceptions about roller skating?

People don’t really realise skating is a low-impact activity as well as a great cardio workout. It builds muscle too. To be able to do 99% of the tricks, the core needs to be engaged. After a while, you’re engaging your core without even realising. Once you build muscle memory and endurance, you’ll skate for hours.

How do you stay motivated?

I founded a skating community in Ireland to meet skaters and find safe places to skate in Dublin. We skate at least twice a week. It helps me stick to my goals while also having fun.

If you’re not doing this, how else do you like to keep fit?

Dancing, cycling or practising capoeira (a Brazilian martial art). For me they’re all connected. Dancing helps improve coordination, cycling helps me with balance and cardio endurance and capoeira helps with mobility and concentration.

What is your advice for people interested in roller skating?

If you’re unsure about investing in skates, check if you have a rink nearby, there are three in Ireland. If you want to get your own pair, check the sizing chart and measure your feet with a ruler, read the reviews and buy protective gear.

Everyone falls and the fear will just go when you practise some falling drills. Skate for your wellbeing, skate for your mental health, skate for fun. The more you are connected to yourself the more you will enjoy skating. Also, there is so much support in the community.

Why is movement important to you?

It gives me energy, improves my mood, I become more creative and I switch off social media . I feel connected with myself and with the people around me. I’m more present, I appreciate the city more and I’m looking out for new cool spots for skating and dancing.

It’s a different way to experience where you are and how you’re connected to that environment. Skating is my happy place.


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