Editor's note: For seniors, exercise is an important way to prevent injury and retain independence. But it can be difficult to come up with a routine that works for you. Frank Hernandez of the Central Valley town of Delano solved that problem by turning to rollerblading. He's now 72 and shows no sign of stopping. We visited the skatepark with Hernandez as part of our community health series Vital Signs.
By Frank Hernandez
When I first started I would rollerblade the skate paths, then I said, "I need more than this."
I used to look at the X-Games, and I saw the rollerbladers back then in the 90’s, and I said, "Oh, I’m going to do that someday."
I've had a lot of falls, a lot of injuries: strained my knee really bad, bruised my rib cage twice, shoulder strain three or four times, face-plant once. But I've never had a broken bone, so I’m pretty lucky. I’m not really stubborn, I just think that if I want to do something I can do it.
I grew up in Delano. My grandmother raised us in the mid-1940s. At that time, we had the west side of town and the east side of town -- the east side of town was the more affluent. I didn’t know whether I was smart enough to go to college, or was I just a dumb kid from the west side?