Aaron Chong,  
Business Manager, Programme in Neuroscience & Behavioural Disorders

The Insider: Inline  skating is a sport widely practiced internationally. It is also known as “roller blading” due to the popular brand of inline skates, Rollerblade. We had a chat with Aaron from the NBD program who happened to be an avid roller blader. We decided to get him to share his passion for roller blading and perhaps a tip or two for the beginners to note. Along the way, we discovered some interesting things about Aaron that you might not have known.

1) Beneath that youthful face, Aaron is already a proud daddy of two young kids.

2) His first pair of rollerblades lasted him 15 years!

3) Aaron had a near death experience when he fell on his head during a rollerblading accident.

Aaron: I started rollerblading with a group of friends when I was in Junior College, and being adrenalin junkies, we totally enjoyed the speed and excitement of the sport. We tried all kinds of tricks from jumping over obstacles, launching off the ramps and going down the stairs at top speed. I used to wear only my wrist and knee pads as helmets were just not ‘cool’. Unfortunately ‘coolness’ had a price and I paid for it painfully. During a routine rollerblading session, I slipped and fell on the back of my head. When my head banged against the concrete floor I could hear the sound of the collision echoing through my head and for a minute or so I laid on the ground motionless.

Remember in the movies when people are about to pass on and they see their entire life flash by  them?  That was my experience. I saw my life flash before my eyes as I lay on the ground motionless for what seemed like eternity. Fortunately I began feeling a sensation in my fingers and toes, and this feeling slowly spread to the rest of my body and I was eventually able to move. 

It is not my intent to scare you with my near death experience but perhaps it will serve as a reminder to all to take safety seriously. 15 years have passed since the incident and I am happy to say that this passion has brought me benefits such as good health and opportunities to bond with friends and family. I used to rollerblade once a week at East Coast park in the early mornings. This is such an ideal timing as I get to enjoy the fresh air and cool weather. Now that I have two kids, I make it a point to spend quality time with them. I now rollerblade during  the weekends  at  the Chinese  Garden and  Jurong Park connector which is closer to home.

Recently, I started teaching my three-year-old daughter to rollerblade and I am delighted to see her picking up the sport well. Rollerblading can be a convenient sport so long as you can find a nearby park with a flat path. My first rollerblades served me well for 15 years and I have just changed to a new pair recently. If you are a beginner or thinking of taking up rollerblading, I like to leave you with some handy tips: 

1) When rollerblading, there is a tendency to fall backwards. To prevent this, it is important to keep your knees bent and body weight towards the front. If you do fall forward, you have your protective gear to help break the fall. 

2) Rent a pair of rollerblades to try out the sport before purchasing a pair. It is not necessary to buy the best and most expensive rollerblades as a reasonable pair can last you for a substantial period.

3) Always wear your protective gears even if it does not look ‘cool’. Your safety matters the most!