‘Skating actually frees my mind’ Lansing man skates for 61 years

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Joe Carter has been skating at Edru’s Skating Rink in Holt since he was 7 years old. He said it was not love at first skate.

“I was pretty terrible. I was knocking people down and all that type of thing,” Carter said.

Even though he was not the best, he got bit by the skating bug.

“I got hooked on it. I said I can’t do this very well but I’m gonna learn,” Carter said.

Carter said by about 12 years old, he started to get better.

“Into my teens I went on up I never quit. I started to make it a regular thing to come at least once or every other week,” Carter said.

His passion for it kept growing. The more comfortable he got with skating, the more creative he got with his moves.

“I said let me try this. If I can conceptualize it, I can do it,” Carter said.

A move he created in his late teens was called the Rolls Royce Kick.

“It took about two weeks and I fell probably 30 to 35 times,” Carter said.

Carter said its one thing to dream up a move, but its another thing to actually try and bring it to life.

“Now you have to figure out how do I transfer my thoughts out to moves to become real moves on the skating floor,” Carter said.

When it came to his Rolls Royce Kick, he just kept at it.

“I said man I don’t know if I’m ever gonna get this, and then I started to see flashes of I kind of got it. And it got better and better,” Carter said.

As Carter grew older, he focused on his other passion.

“I love computers always. Did from the time I was a young kid before computers were even popular,” Carter said.

Carter said for 35 years he was a high level IT Manager for the State of Michigan. But he never stopped lacing up his skates.

“I was always skating during those years,” Carter said.

It wasn’t until Carter retired back in 2020 that he was able to pursue skating full time. However, there was a bump in the road.

“I’ve had total knee replacement on my left knee in 2010,” Carter said.

For five months, Carter trained his body back to health and got back in the rink. He’s gone all over the country to skate at different events.

“I mean I’ve been to 42 states doing this,” Carter said.

Carter said skating gives him peace of mind, and keeps him healthy.

“Roller skating is the best cardio I could ever recommend to somebody,” Carter said.

It also gives him a sense of community.

“We look at our international and national group as skate family,” Carter said.

Every Wednesday and Sunday, you can find Carter at Edru’s Skating Rink.

“The most important thing is that you have fun,” Carter said.

61 years of skating, and Carter said he’s still just as excited as he was at 7 years old.

“I have no plans of quitting skating anytime soon. It’ll probably be the grave that takes me from skating cause I doubt that I’ll ever quit skating,” Carter said.

Carter’s full story will be featured alongside 13 other skaters, in a book called The Evolution of Skating Volume Three.

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