A feature of the "old" Inline Plus TV site, before I handed the show over to John Powell was the Inline Plus Forum. 

I set up a section of this where I posted my skating experiences, and this is the postings made to this Forum over this time.

These posts cover the period from November 2005 to August 2007.  Soon after, I went into Depression and I stopped posting.

Posted: November 2005.

So the story up to now is covered on this webpage - go and read it if you want to!  http://www.michcos.id.au/skating.html

But basically, I have been having weekly lessons since March 8th, 2005 - first trying with the group lessons but nerves got the better of me and I didn't
manage to do much with the groups, but I learnt enough to take a few very
nervious steps!   I have now switched to one-on-one lessons which are working out better, doing the first of these last week.

I have been slowly making progress over the months since I first started
lessons, and at least now - it looks like the fear of rolling has finally gone.  On flat ground I am doing quite well, although I still need to get over the fear of even slight downward slopes!  Although I have done a little bit of slight
downhill coasting - and I can see it's quite fun - just need to work on getting in the right position more quickly!  This I dare say will be tackled in my lesson next week, so lets see how I go.........

But over the past two weeks the nerves are starting to go and I am actually enjoying rolling even for the short distance I currently do.

Stay tuned for more updates as time goes on!


Posted: November 20th, 2005, 10:04pm

Well today, after spending the afternoon on the
foreshore with those running the Bayside Blades
display, I took the chance to go to the venue for the lessons - Thomas St Reserve - and for the first time, I managed to get onto the main path for a fair distance for the first time.  I managed to roll downhill for quite a distance, however, not knowing how to stop yet, I bailed out before I got to fast!  I guess then the next thing to work on will be braking.  I'll keep you all posted on how I go!

The next lesson is going to be at the Netball Courts - a bit scary with nowhere to step off - but I guess I'll have to get used to it someday!

My friend John got this shot of me rolling
downhill!

Posted: November 26th, 2005, 11:45am

This weeks lesson on the Netball Court went well - as long as the ground is flat it's not too scary not being able to step off!  During the lesson on Thursday, I touched the brake for the first time - it almost didn't happen, but I guess with a brake pad that hasn't been used, it wasn't too far to go to get it on!

I touched the brake a couple more times during the lesson, and have practised it a bit on Friday.  I then got a little too over confident and tried to roll down a steeper hill with the brake, but I got a bit too fast and fell backwards onto the grass!  Ah well, at least I'm playing with the brake now!

Posted: December 15th, 2005, 6:48pm

Well I had a practise again yesterday and I can finally say I'm starting to feel like a Skater and not a robot trying to roll!

I am starting to feel like I am doing things well now.

Heck, even the falls start getting fun after a while (and I had one yesterday!)

Posted: May 22nd, 2006, 10:12pm

Hi All,

Well sorry I haven't posted here for a while.............. never mind.

My lessons have continued fortnightly since the last post and things are looking quite a bit better now - I'm starting to move down the pathways quite well, although Andrea is still noticing things that need working on!!

Main problem with me now is a lack of movement in my upper body, and a bit of a bad habit where I only stroke with my left foot and not on the right as much.  Andrea now has me with me hands by my side rather than out the front, but she still craves the day where they will move a bit (or at least stay down for now!)

As for Pathways, I've been on quite a few since the last post, during the lessons in various spots in Hampton and practise in places like Port Melbourne,
Bennettswood and in a few country towns like Bendigo and Paynesville while on holiday.  I am now able to cope with things like rises and falls a lot better.  

I still haven't crossed any roadways unassisted yet - although a friend did help me across one road crossing - hmm, need to learn to do that (but that will come!)

Progress is starting to be made

Michael Costello

Posted: January 7th, 2006, 9:19am

Well I had my next lesson yesterday, and the lesson was filmed, so you might see me playing around on Inline Plus someday!

I had my first real attempts at braking to a complete stop - didn't quite manage it, but I'm getting there.  Looks like I might be able to go out on the street soon though!

Michael Costello

Posted: July 25th, 2006, 10:05pm by Terry

Sometimes I wonder what an Andrea-free world would be like... let's have a think...

1) No one to teach us hopeless cases to control those wheel-things on our feet... ummm.... skates

2) The council would have less people bugging them for more recreation in Hampton, there'd be nowhere to skate, and the TV + couch would become the new best friend of our unexcercised fat bottoms.

3) Skaters in the Tuesday night skate would be left behind and deserted, because there's no one to watch the back of the group!

4) Sales involving the colour pink would decline considerably... the inspirational "pink lady" would cease to exist.

5) Kids at the shed would have two broken bones and half a head, because there'd be no one running around commanding those little ones to put on their helmets and wear their protective gear.

6) School kids would think skating involved a piece of wood on four wheels, because there'd be no one to show the school groups what it is and how it's done.

7) The stylish juxtaposition of one pink shoe and one purple shoe would never have swept the world off its traditional colour-matched feet.

Hmmm... what else do you think, Michael?

Posted: August 1st, 2006, 8:55pm

Don't have anything else to add just yet Terry, you seem to have covered it quite well there!  Good to see you sucking up to your boss again - give the boy a pay rise!

Anyway, back on to the topic at hand.........

I am still learning and practicing my skating at the moment.  I am continuing my lessons once a fortnight and I do practice a couple of days a week along the path at Port Melbourne (near Graham St tram stop).

One thing Andrea has done is paired me up with two of her other students, Marie and Emmett, who are here from the US on a "working holiday".  They are working on a new skill they can take home to impress their friends!  Now my lessons are in tandem with Marie.

I average 3 trips up and down this section of path, which is about 0.5km.  Not having crossed a road yet, we all turn around and do the same section again.  Marie and Emmett have crossed a road though, so I have some catching up to do now!

For a few months now, I have also been attending Speed Training with the Bayside session at Skateworld Mordialloc on Wednesday Nights.  I have got no hope of ever being as quick as they are, but at least I can join in some of it, and maybe one day I might understand enough about Speed to maybe become an Official.

Main issues to date are feeling sore, both at the rink and on the path.  I am getting help for this from a Physio.  This has been holding me back a bit, but hopefully I can fix this up over time.  Hmmm, better get out of this office and do some walking……...

Myself with Marie and Emmett at Port
Melbourne.

Posted: August 2nd, 2006, 3:56pm by Terry

Michael,

Don't worry about those hoons zooming past you... I still get that at training!!

Keep it up!

-Terry

... oh and by the way... "sucking up" constitutes more than a few nice words!!  

Posted: August 19th, 2006, 11:24pm

Hi Terry, yes sorry about my choice of wording there.....  

Last week, I had another of our fortnightly lessons, where I made the first shakey steps of crossing a roadway.  THis was done at a crossing with lights, so I had an audience.  I'm sure I amused a few drivers as we crossed.  Building on that, a bit of time was spent learning the correct way of going up and down driveways, etc.  I can see why some skaters like to use the road, as the road was quite smooth compaired to the rough footpath / bike track.......

Anyway, today the three of us did the fairly short but challenging trip from Sandridge Life Saving Club to D'lish Fish along the waterfront path.  This path is quite smooth and easy to skate on for the most part, but there are places where tree roots are pushing the pavement up which can almost trip you up.  There is also a set of rail tracks moulded into the path near Princes Pier.  I was a bit slow going over them the first time, so I had to step over the four rails, but on the way back I was moving a little quicker and went over them almost without noticing them!  There is also a dip down and back up which was a challenge in both directions.

I don't know why, but there is a section of the path with a slated wooden bridge.  I didn't tackle this today, prefering to step accross some sand to avoid it, but I guess I will get enough guts to cross the wood one day!

Anyway, it was nice to go on a challanging trip, which was a big change from going up and down fairly flat sections of pathway.  

Soon, we might tackle another section of this waterfront path.  We'll see how we go!

MIchael Costello

Posted: September 21st, 2006, 1:43pm

Well a couple of weeks ago, I finished up with the lessons with Andrea for the time being, when both myself and Marie made it to the shop from the Brighton Beach Car Park.  This involved crossing the road (again) and a fairly long stint of skating on the road.  It also involved some skating on fairly rough paved paths in the streets of Hampton, and the Hampton St Rail Level Crossing.  On the crossing, I stepped accross the tracks, wasn't quite up to rolling over them just yet, but that will come (I rolled between them, just stepped over the tracks!)

Me at the shop - first time making it there on skates! Photo: Andrea Winzor

Last Friday, as Bayside Blades was close to moving - I decided to do the trip again - this time by myself.  I remembered enough to be able to do the trip!  Everything went quite well, except for a fall in the middle of the pedestrian crossing - at least it was forwards!

Returning to the Port Melbourne path above - I have had a couple of falls - a couple of them backwards - resulting in a bit of a sore a** for a few weeks - it got so bad that driving was very painful for a while.  As a result I didn't do any trvel that I didn't have to do - including to the rink on Wednesdays.  Anyway, hopefully I will able to restart in a couple of weeks after the schools go back!

That's all for this update.

Posted: November 7th, 2006, 9:08am

Well I haven't posted for a while, so I will now.

I have been a real "chicken" the past few months after that fall back on the Port Melbourne Beachfront path, and I have mainly been going up and down what I like to call the "baby path" beside the light rail line at Port Melbourne!  

Bayside has started the new Saturday Morning skate at Elwood, and this was attempted last Saturday.  While the others zoomed off in a perfect line with few worries, I did my usual slow skate for a short distance until I came to a situation I didn't want to go past - Tree roots pushing up the path on the bottom of a slight downward slope!  Fear just set in, and I ended up turning around and going back.

Never mind, it gave me a chance to play with my "new toy" and get some shots of the skaters as they came back.  So not all was lost!

I really must try and be more adventureous on the skates, as I am getting too fond of that easy "baby path"!  

Posted: February 5th, 2007, 2:30pm

Well I am still fond of the "baby path" at Port Melbourne, and I'm going up and down it a few times in the week.  Mainly later at night, because the weather has been VERY hot here over the last few months, and I need to wait until it cools down.

I am very close to getting a rhythm going, and when I do get it going, it feels a bit exciting as the speed creeps up.  But I get to the point where I feel I've gone fast enough and I need to back off.  I'm sure you get used to speed over time though.

What is happening now though is I'm starting to relax, to the point where I am even managing a few swizzles just about every time I practise now.  So that is a good sign.......

Haven't managed to do too many of the Saturday skates for a little while, but I hope to go back to that soon at Elwood. Marie and Emmett are on their way back on skates too, so I will have someone to practise with again

Michael Costello

Posted: April 27th, 2007, 8:34pm

So the story hasn't been updated for a little while - that's because I have been fairly lazy and haven't skated much over the past few months.  But there have been a few things happening.

A while back I bought some "cheapish" wheels on ebay, and then I bought a set of bearings as well.  Seeing I had the stuff I thought I would install these purple wheels on my skates.

I did a bit of skating on them, and it was nice to have some new wheels after my coned original wheels.  But the quality of the wheels wasn't great, and they were causing the bearings to get a bit noisy.

Yesterday I obtained a new pair of skates, the Rollerblade Crossfire II 90.  These are a very sexy looking pair of skates, and they see me going up to 90mm wheels for the first time (quite a jump from the 76mm of my previous skates)  I was expecting it to be scary, but soon I was rolling along quite nicely on them, and they made the pathway feel like a skating rink!

I am starting to skate a bit better these days, and with the new skates it almost feels as though the old ones were holding me back.  I think things are really going to progress from here!

Stay tuned for more!

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 5:38pm

Ah well, haven't posted here for a while.

Well I haven't skated a lot lately - due to working on the show. (Seems like a common problem among people who skate - never mind!)  But what skating I have done is going great.  The new skates are FANTASTIC!

But I did have a night at Carribeen Rink a little while back when Bayside Blades had their night there, and had a nice forwards fall on the rink. In other news from this night, I found myself having to grab the railing and slow down a few times (yes, for once I was the one going too fast!)  Someone at the rink told me to slow down - never thought I would hear those words!

A couple of week ago I did the Bayside Saturday Morning Skate, and managed it quite well.  All the pronlems that used to cause panic seem to be gone.  I can change surface, go over cracks, etc, without worring about it now.  Still can't get fast enough to "roll" over those railway tracks - had to step over them.  I did try, but aborted at the last second.  Don't do this - make your decisions early and stick to it!

I have also found Footscray Road as a good skate place, the path is nice and there are a couple of closed off driveways to park in and you can use them to practise your road crossings (not that I did last time I was there being the "chicken" I am!)

In November I will attempt to skate in Brisbane and Sydney.  I don't think I will be up to doing anything with Planet Inline though from the stories I have heard about them!

Anyway, that's it for now.  See you on C31 on Thursday!

Michael Costello

Shortly after this post, and the pilot of Inline Plus airing, I went into long term depression and the posts stopped.   
I am gradually getting myself back together from this "dark period".

Oh, and the trip to Sydney and Brisbane mentioned was cancelled, as I was in an unfit state to travel at that time.