This week's column:
'Why Am I Wobbly?'
Aug. 17, 2011
Hi, Bill: I am a 45-year-old woman who used to be a very good skater. A few weeks ago, my husband and I started skating again. I really enjoy it. But I am having a problem maintaining my balance on skates. Is balance often a problem for people returning to the sport? If so, how long does it take to get the hang of it again? - Chrissy from South Georgia.
Hi, Chrissy: In general, skating is like riding a bike. Once you learn how, you always remember.
Recently, I attended the final skate session at our old rink, which is closing down due to tree-root and earthquake damage. I hadn’t skated on quads for 20 years and have put on a lot of weight. But nonetheless, I was able to tear around the bank track, dodging all the children, with ease. Balance was no problem nor is it typically a problem for returning skaters.
One thing that can hurt balance is skating too upright. The upright position is naturally wobbly.
More stable is the low position with knees bent and butt down. In this position, your knees should be over your toes.
If that's not the problem, you should probably consult your doctor.
Lots of health conditions can cause a loss of balance. Inner ear infections and low blood pressure are common culprits. So are back problems, such as spinal stenosis, which may be relevant to you, given your history of back surgery.
By all means, see your doctor and get this figured out, so you can continue to enjoy your return to skating.