Interview with Artistic Roller Skater – Pat

Steph: ​ Hi, and welcome to Stay Mobile KC, your source for inspiration on getting and staying active in Kansas city. I’m Dr. Steph and I’m the chiropractor who makes house calls. So I come to you whether you’re at home or at work and I get you feeling better faster so you can get back to being productive.

So today I’m bringing you the story of Pat, an artistic roller skater. So tell me a little about your sport.

Pat:​ Artistic rollerskating takes physical strength and timing and finesse and it’s great for your breathing and it’s fun to watch other people do it and it’s kind of a social group too.

Steph: Okay. So what got you into artistic rollerskating? ​

Pat:​ Well, my doctor was telling me that I needed to do some more exercise for my blood pressure and I had been walking, but he said that doesn’t really do very much for you. And so he suggested I step up on the step with my right foot and then down with my right foot and then up with my left foot and down with my left foot. And do that as fast as you can for as long as you can until you can’t hardly breathe anymore and go sit down and rest, catch your breath and do it again and do that for so many minutes. And I did that for a little while and I thought, “this is boring.” Roller skaters do the same thing. I think I’ll start skating again. I just started skating session when the it was open to everybody and I didn’t know anybody, but I went for myself.

Steph: So how did you get started on artistic rollerskating though?

Pat: …and so I started telling him about doing jumps with my father when I was in college and he said, I don’t do that kind of skating anymore, but my friend over there, Ward, does. And so I’ve started to get to know Ward, ask him a bunch of questions about artistic rollerskating. And finally one day he said, “I can teach you how to roller skate dance if you like.” And I said, okay, so he invited me to practice and he kept inviting me and it was good exercise. I liked doing it, but I didn’t really get too excited about it until I went and watched him skate at nationals and saw all the pretty girls with all the pretty dresses with the rhinestones and then I got real excited about it.

Steph: Oh, yeah, and that made you really want to do it more?

Pat: Yes.

Steph: How long have you been doing this?

Pat: I started in 2014, so five years ago. I competed for the first time, in October of 2014 but I wasn’t very good.

Steph: Oh yeah. So why did you start competing so fast?

Pat: Because …my half brother owns a rink in Jefferson city and that’s where the regional competition was going to be that year. And since it rotates between rinks, it might be a while before it’d be back to his rink, so I wanted to compete even though I wasn’t really competition level yet.

Steph: Oh yeah. So how was your first competition?

Pat: It was very, very scary. Yeah, I remember when my legs were shaking, I could hardly get enough breath cause I was so nervous. But I didn’t fall down and I made it all the way around the rink.. So I guess I did okay for my first time.

Steph: And you kept competing?

Pat: I kept competing because every time you do it, it gets a little bit easier.

Steph: Yeah, getting out there in front of everybody, having the judges look at you.

Pat: Yeah.

Steph: Do you have any goals in your sport?

Pat: I’ll, I just, I want to keep getting better and I’d like to be able to skate until I’m in my seventies. Like our oldest skater in our club is 74, I believe. I’d like to be her someday.

Steph: Okay. And what advice would you give other people who are thinking about joining your sport or thinking about going from not being active to getting started being active?

Pat: Well, I think you should just jump right in with both feet like I did.

Steph: Oh yeah. What have you gained by participating in the sport?

Pat: A lot of physical fitness, breathing control, a family of people who care about me and, people that I can talk to and go on trips together and it feels kind of like a family. And, just… more confidence in myself. A lot of my friends, admire me for skating at my age and having something like this to do that I really enjoy doing.

Steph: Oh yeah. Like having the courage and confidence to get out there. Well, good. Thank you so much for talking to me today. It’s been really good getting to know a little bit more about what you do and why you do it.

Pat: Thank you.

Steph: Thanks.


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