“Those Senior Skaters Keep Rolling Along”

Published January 6, 2013 by Maryanne

Carrie Calendriello (age 92) and Chester Fried (age 66) are inspirations on roller skates!

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, 2011)

I came across an article I had published in the Verona/Cedar Grove Patch online, January 14, 2011, about seniors who roller skate. It was just too inspiring not to share with all of you!

Those Senior Skaters Keep Rolling Along

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, originally published January 14, 2011, Verona/Cedar Grove Patch online

Roller skating is an exciting aerobic sport that can burn up to 560 calories per hour that’s fun for all ages – and I do mean all ages! I recently had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Calendriello, a 92-year-old who skates three times a week – and drives herself to the rinks!

“It gets me out of the house,” said Calendriello, who started roller skating in Central Park when she was a teenager in the 1930s, and met her husband Al there, who passed away in 2001.

Calendriello said her health is good and she doesn’t take many pills. Even though she can’t tango and waltz on skates like she used to, she still gets around pretty well!

Seniors, in their 60s through 80s come to the skate at the South Amboy Arena, in South Amboy on Wednesdays, where they also socialize with cake and coffee. The rink is run by John Durnye and his daughter, Jean.

“I love it! It keeps me alive,” said Betty Sammarco of Brooklyn, who wouldn’t give her exact age but said she is “over 65.”

Most of the senior ladies wore short skating skirts and I was very impressed by how slim and toned their legs were. The men were also slim and everyone looked extremely happy, healthy and vibrant.

Chester Fried, 66, of South River, is another roller skating fanatic who started skating in Queens when he was just 7-years-old. He was hooked immediately and continues to skate five days per week, and even teaches skating at the Woodbridge Community Center.

Fried’s greatest skating accomplishment happened in 1997 when he was inducted into the USA Roller Sports National Roller Skating Distinguished Service Hall of Fame. Peers recognized him for being one of the founding fathers of the National Roller Skating Museum. His busy schedule is filled with conventions, competitions, promotions and even writing about roller skating. His articles have been published in “Rinksider Magazine,” “Skate Magazine” and “Roller Skating Business,” to name a few.

Between the music, lights and social aspect, Fried said roller skating is “mentally uplifting.” It’s also great exercise.

“I’m still wearing the same clothes I did in 1971,” he said. “You don’t gain. I never got fat. My friends got fat. They all have beer bellies.”

Fried believes skating keeps him in very good health. He’s not on any medications but supplements his diet with Vitamin E, vision formula and zinc. “That’s it,” he said.

He’s also careful what he eats. “No fried foods whatsoever,” Fried said. “Ice cream in the summer – that’s a rough one to turn down.”

For more information on the South Amboy Arena and other area skating arenas, go to: http://www.sk8rollermagic.com/

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