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Thigpen's Inline Skating Page

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[Me] giving lessons at the Christian Science Center...

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A new excitement on wheels ...

A few hundred years ago, I tried racing bicycles and became very bored. As an alternate outlet for my exercise I tried on a pair of inline skates. I immediately found a new horizon! In fact, I enjoyed them so much that I almost had them surgically attached to my feet. Now, I'm considering increasing my health insurance and going to Z.T. Maximux to do stuff like this. Ramp skating is fun but costly - one screw up and boom: have a nice week.

[slalom gif]

A slalom course in Europe ...

Then, one late summer afternoon I met John Gilmour, a slalom boarder who had just migrated from New York City. The road was closed off and he had set up a path of cones. I asked for permission and swirved a run through the coned course. The course then became popular. Tv cameras and newspapers arrived for interview and footage. Again, inline skating became even more fun. Since then we developed our own Inline skate school of IISA certified instructors. We decided to start teaching classes through education centers such as: Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge Adult Education Centers along with the Learning Adventure (See below). At the end of the year we tallied up the amount of lessons we had taught as a group and discovered that we had taught over 5,000 students to inline skate. This year we're expanding our practice into the corporate world. For instance, we'll be teaching at companies like AT&T, Mitre, and maybe (with luck) Sun Microsystems. Basically, we found that we love to teach and the students love our work. For instance, through anonymous comment cards, we rate on an average of 4.25 out of a possible 5 on each category given. So, as for now, it's been a beautiful program.

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[Team FR Logo] `Your' refers to Rollerblade ...

In parallel with our classes we've also seen a small brush with fame. You may see my feet in a pepsi commercial or Fox Networks show, "High Adventure". We even get a couple of newspaper articles written about us.

Soon afterward there were rumours of getting involved with Rollerblade, and having access to the Rollerblade Rental Van for our numerous lessons. Well, after dealing with Rollerblade, I soon supported TEAM FR. Where "F" stands for a swear word and "R" stands for Rollerblade. From what I understand of TEAM FR's history, they were all previuously hired/sponsored by Rollerblade. Then Rollerblade became scared of the team's image. They were very good at vertical skating - amazing in fact. Rollerblade decided that they didn't want to sponsor that image and fired them all. A year later, this image became popular. So, much like how snowboarding emerged from an outlaw sport to a popular sport, Rollerblade decided to reconsider and capitalize just like the ski resorts had. As a result Rollerblade hired a new team. Although when MTV wanted to show a radical skate team, TEAM FR got the call - congratulations!

Most recently however, I've studied the Red Cross' first aid book and past a few exams in First Aid and CPR. Soon afterward I've volunteered some time to The Boston Skate Patrol.

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Classes being offered ...

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Boston Center for Adult Education:

Don't envy those rollerbladers who wizz pass you! Learn inline skating youreself. Whether you are at the beginning or advanced level, this class helps you develop and perfect a smooth, free style, and teaches techniques for stopping, trick skating, crossing over, and skating backwards. Learn how to "read" the pavement for safer skating, maintain your equipment, and protect yourself if you fall. Bring your skates. Knees and elbow pads and wrist guards are required; helmets are optional. Rental equipment (skates and all safety gear) is available from the instructor; call the BCAE at (617) 267-4430 for the instructor's phone number. Classes are held outdoors, weather permitting. In the event of rain, classes will be reschedualed the following week. $59

Off season

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Brookline Adult Education Center

Off season

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Cambridge Center for Adult Education:

Let's Rollerblade

Why walk when you can roll? Inline skating, more commonly known as Rollerblading(tm), has become the fastest growing sport in America. Beginners through advanced levels are welcome to this three-week course to learn and improve inline skating technique and form. Rollerbalding(tm) is a fantastic, low-impact, cross-training tool for skiers, ice skaters, and biyclists. Bring knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads, as well as a a windbrekaer or sweathshirt. Must have skates; rentals of skates and protective equipment avaliable. Please call (508) 653-2466 for rentals ($5 per class) at least 3 days before starting date. Limited to 10. 3 1&1/2 meetings. $56

Off-season

Roller Safari

Explore the ashpalt "jungles" of Cambridge and Boston! Ride quietly and comfortably at your own pace. Outdoor skating lessons will cover riding forward, backward, stops, hops, turns -- learn to master hills, curbs, and overpasses. Cruise alone, as well as with the group, from Memorial Drive, Cambridge, to Fanueil hall, Boston ... sans traffic! Bring inline skates, wrist guards, and knee pads. Please call (508) 653-2466 for rentals at least 3 days before start date. $5 per class. Limited to 16. 5 2 hour meetings $76.

Off-season

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Learning Adventure

Off season

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Some links to other skaters ...

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A massive shout out to Tony Chen for supervising the rec.skate FAQ - THANKS TONY!.

Some skateheads here @ CCS:

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[NU logo] thigpen@ccs.neu.edu