Years ago I was very into distance blading. I would blade 20, sometimes 30 miles. As the years went by this was a sport that faded for me. Well, last year (2007) I had a biking friend tell me about a speed blading class at the local rink. I was intrigued and had been looking for a source of cross training. I had tried running but it really didn't agree with me. So, I took my old clunker blades out to the rink and started training with this local speed blading class. It was a very ugly several months for me. I was to find out that distance blading is nothing like speed blading. I had, and still do have a lot to learn. But, I like the cross training. It seems to meet my training goal and I have a lot of fun doing it.
Interestingly, this is a sport for the young. Most of the folks that I train with are kids. In fact, I think the oldest is 16! The youngest is 8 (I think). Man are they fast though. I tell everybody that I have the performance of about an 8 year old. It gets a laugh. But, if they only knew how fast these 8 year olds are..... As for the older kids, all I can hope to do is not get lapped by them. When they get on the gas it's like they just disappear. It's kind of cool to watch, if I'm not trying to catch them.
I'll add more to this when I have it.