Monday, June 02, 2008

Eddy Matzger SkateFarm Roadshow

Apparently, I like taking weekend courses to learn various sports. In the last 8 months, I've taken a 2-day class on Olympic weightlifting, 3 1-day classes on autocrossing, and, this weekend, a 2-and-a-bit-day class on inline speed skating.

In particular, the class I took was the SkateFarm Roadshow, which is taught by famous inline racer* and skating personality Eddy Matzger. We worked on balance, edge control, fall angle, cross-over turns, and, of course, the double push. Eddy didn't teach us how to skate up or down extreme slopes, while towing a rickshaw, while mopping, on a waterwheel, on hand rails, or backwards while video-recording students.

There were 12 students in the class, approximately evenly split between men and women, and they ranged in skill level from obvious newbies to apparent athletes with lots of skating experience and some form of DP. I was one of the more skilled skaters, but by no means the best.

Eddy is a very good instructor who takes an accentuate-the-positive approach to teaching. (Apparently, his childhood piano instructor, who repeatedly told him he was terrible, left quite an impression.) Additionally, his enthusiasm and ebullience made spending 7 hours each day in my skates less painful than it would otherwise have been. His various antics and obvious skate control---even on enormous 110-mm wheels---kept us interested. Usefully, he sent us away with individual, hand-written "report cards" to remind us what to reinforce and what to relearn.

Here's a photo Eddy took of the two of us. The face he's making is typical of him.

So, if you are interested in learning to be a better skater, then I encourage you to sign up for Roadshow the next time it passes near you or to journey to Virginia for the non-traveling SkateFarm.

* Eddy has won Athens to Atlanta something like 4 times, more than anyone else.

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