A boy from Holland
As a young boy growing up in The Netherlands I was introduced to ice skating at a very early age. Many winters in my younger years fortunately were freezing cold and canals and lakes would freeze solid. Year by year my ice skating skills improved and ice skating became more and more fun. Being a typical winter activity, ice skating was only possible during a few weeks per year so I quickly asked my first pair of rollerskates to roam the streets when temperatures rose above zero.
Back in the mid and late 80s, my roller skates weren’t that advanced and comfortable though so I didn’t use them that much. But the passion for skating never died, even when my attention was drawn to lots of other sports and activities.
Then, somewhere in the mid 90’s a new form of skating came over from the United States: inline skating.
With all 4 wheels in a row, and soft wheels at that, skating on the streets suddenly became as fun as ice skating. Together with friends from our neighborhood we explored all the streets (and some stairs and sidewalks) we could find our hometown. We were always trying to find the roads that offered a smooth surface because only then it was really possible to make some good speed.
Almost 2 decades later, in the summer of 2013, I was still taking a lot of joy out of skating when the weather was fine and the conditions were good. Living about 20 kilometres from the beach I often took my iPod, a water bottle, a towel and my skates to ride my way to spend my summer days at the beach of Scheveningen. I just discovered the extra joy and satisfaction of keeping track of my workout and route via my sports app. For the first time since I started skating all those years ago I was able to see on a map where my ride had taken me and I could analyze my whole workout! I thought this was the best tool I could have as a recreational skater, but soon I realized this was just the beginning of what an app could offer…