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Quarantine Hobbies: Teaching Myself To Skate in a Month

In the spirit of quarantine, folks have been picking up hobbies to fill the time spent at home. I’m one of those people. I’ve always wanted to learn how to skate—I think it is so cool, and it has always looked like a lot of fun. Around the end of June, I was talking with my friend Anthony about hobbies, specifically picking up skating—without hesitation, he immediately said “You just gotta go do it. Say f*ck it and just buy one.” A week and a couple of hours of research later, my purchase was placed on Amazon for a longboard with a double tail and a Union Jack on the bottom. Carol, my longboard, arrived on July 1st, 2020. And so my journey to becoming a Cool Kid began.

I started the way most people would when learning something new – I went straight to YouTube. I found one really helpful video and watched it like five times. I even took notes on the lingo. I couldn’t practice on Miami streets due to the terrible driving, but my backyard has a pool and tile around the pool, so that was where I would practice. The first thing I learned was whether I rode “regular” (left foot on the board) or “goofy” (right foot on the board). Once I figured out that I ride goofy, my practice began. I put my board on the ground and hopped on. I messed with balance, got my footing, practiced the transition from pushing the board to having both feet on it. At the end of my first day, I finally began to ride. It was shaky, but I was getting places. Until the “incident”. My back foot caught on my back wheel and, as the kids say these days, I was “yeeted” off the board. I landed right foot first, completely spraining it. It took me out for two weeks with some very impressive bruising. Skating is pretty much synonymous with falling—I learned that the hard way.

But, that’s the fun of it. You fall, you get back up and you try again. Eventually, I managed to start gaining speed. I was more fluid with my transitions and even started practicing riding “switch” (riding the opposite way/backward). Even though my practice space was limited, I still managed to practice. Every day I would do laps around my pool going both directions. I would practice riding switch in the five-foot space between my house and the back gate. I would stand on my patio and work on kicking the board up (this was accompanied by so many bruises to the stomach). I worked up to pushing twice while maintaining my balance and taking tight corners with speed. Practicing in my backyard definitely gave me spacial awareness—you have to be aware when you have an opening less than a foot wide that has a pool on one side and a concrete pole on the other.  By the end of the month, my confidence and skills had grown tremendously. I grew to love it. So, I brought it up to Tallahassee with me.

Skating with my friends already has given me some of my favorite memories this year, even with “corona” taking over. I skated with Anthony first, and I had never ridden on anything other than tile. We rode on brick, concrete and sidewalks. I even bombed a few hills—the one going from the statue by The Den to the legacy statue, the hill in front of Argo Tea, and the hill behind Stroz. It’s a great way to get you out of the house. Recently, I was going down a hill, and instead of getting hit by a car that came out of nowhere, I rode up on the sidewalk, hesitated, and wiped out completely in front of a brick planter (it’s the one by Deviney, if you know you know). I took out a solid chunk of my knee and haven’t skated in weeks. I miss it. When I first bought Carol, I never imagined how attached I would get to skating. Now, I don’t want to imagine my life without it. If you’re looking for a sign to buy a skateboard or pick up a hobby, consider this article it. Happy skating!

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Olivia is a junior currently double majoring in Creative Writing and Classical Civilizations. Netflix is her soulmate and she is a true master of puns and other bad dad jokes.
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