Just a little insight into how being in lockdown has impacted some of the gangsters around the world.
We would love to hear your stories too!
Jess, U.K: @jess_glithero
At the start of lock down I challenged myself to skate everyday, this was just a fun challenge for myself, but I have grown so much as a skater. I have a small space in my back garden that I can skate in, without a ramp I have become more imaginative, so I use objects from around my garden to skate with such as tyres, pallets or logs. I also started dance skating in my kitchen, I have learnt so many new moves and developed a lot more confidence in myself. This challenge has become a lot more difficult as time has gone on due to work becoming more exhausting every day. I am a paediatric nurse in a district hospital, covid 19 has had a major impact on my work. My whole team has been relocated to A&E department and started doing night shifts (this was a shock to the system). Fortunately, in children areas there are less cases, however we are still required to wear full PPE when caring for patients, which is uncomfortable, hot, and frustrating. It’s tough to find the time or energy to skate between night shifts or after a long day shift, but every time once the wheels go on my feet I feel free, all my worries disappear. Skating has had a major impact on my physical and mental health during this time and I would recommend everyone to find that one thing that makes them feel free and disconnect from the real world for half an hour a day.
I have enjoyed learning different skate disciplines, but I seriously miss the skate parks so much. I miss the feeling when flying around the bowl, my skate family, bouncing off other’s ideas and support that pushes me to try new/bigger tricks. We may not be back together soon, but when we are its going to be amazing.
Stay safe everyone x
Yanka, Belgium: @jiggydust
Lockdown has been good but also challenging for me pesonally. First of all I became a team rider for RGG during quarantine, so that lifted me up and kept me busy and excited (and it still does of course).
I am very lucky we are allowed to rollerskate the streets, and I’ve never been so happy about the fact that I bought my boyfriend a longboard last year. Now we have our weekly skate-dates which we didn’t use to have before.
But... everytime I leave the house, I’m afraid... To get sick, to take corona home and make the love of my life sick...
When I see people (on IG) get together to skate, sometimes that makes me feel very lonely. I also want to be there, but the fear is real...
What I do love and get so much energy from are the online rollerdisco’s. Once in a while I joined the Dutch lessons by Maggie and some of the RGG lunchbreaks.
Sometimes I get the feeling that the fun I have is not always ‘real fun’ because most of it is online. I also have days without any energy, but most of the time I feel good and blessed I’m healthy and I have time to take things slow.
I’ve also taken the opportunity to spend more times on my (old) hobbies like making music, drawing,... just being more creative.
I recently found a calm and quiet place right around the corner to skate by myself if the weather is good!
Can’t wait to skate with you all!
Lots of love,
Mel A, U.K: @mjalexandrou
Life in lockdown has been very up and down for me. I live in a small town and my flat is right in the town centre, as is my cafe, so it's felt very quiet with all the shops, bars and cafes shut and I've gotten quite used to not seeing anyone apart from my husband and neighbours that we share a yard with. I've felt very lucky in that respect - having company, and I've not really felt lonely as I'm not someone who likes crowds or gets bored if I'm not around other people often. While some of our friends have been out skating at local spots and even the outdoor skateparks (that are too open within the park to cordon off), alone or in twos and threes (whilst keeping 2m apart), I've felt, personally, that this is still a little risky. I'm still making cakes and delivering to people that are isolating or vulnerable so I feel it's most responsible if I keep away from any environments I can't control and stay as close to home as possible. This prompted building a backyard mini ramp at the beginning of lockdown which was a lot of fun, and having our own space to mess around on that and our diy rail has been great. I've been getting busier with cakes which is good, but also means I have less time - most of the time it feels like I have less free time than normal, whilst producing barely a third of the output. Motivation to skate is very low sometimes. Obviously when I do though I always feel better, and on a few occasions I've been able to skate a few miles on the quiet roads in the neighbourhood - smooth roads in scarce supply though! I have felt bad not participating in online skate socials and other skate-related things that have been going on online, but generally it's been really uplifting to see my fellow gangsters and skate friends doing some really great stuff! Especially seeing everyone's version of the RGG instagram story takeover. So there has been a lot of positives!
I'm having to try really hard to not look too far forwards, as things still seem so unknown...but I really miss skating with my friends, skateparks, roller discos and planning skate adventures. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for all that to start happening again!
Steffie, New Zealand: @steffietopia
As I'm writing this, the hours are counting down to going to Alert level 2 of 4. this means life in New Zealand is about to become semi normal again. It's been a weird few weeks. NZ was very strict and technically no skating was allowed anywhere apart from at home. I cannot wait to hit the skate park again in a few days and skate along the ocean with one of my best skate mates. If anything good has come about this, then that I had no choice but to work on my roller dance skills which I have been neglecting since I got so addicted to ramp skating. There's never enough time for it all, so in a way it took the pressure away to fit it all into my agenda The roller rink I'm usually teaching classes at won't open for another few weeks which is sad, but roller skating is considered a high risk sport. Not sure who makes up these rules because down hill mountain biking is ok lol. While I look forward to roaming through this world again & see my work mates and friends in real life, I do feel like in a weird way we have connected more during lockdown. My team at work did an online morning quiz together every day to keep the spirits high and the many more online classes, stories & challenges on Insta connected skaters/people who have never much talked to each other before. Hopefully these strange times have brought us all closer together and there will be many skate adventures to come.
Maggie, U.K: @maggiederu
My life in quarantine, is hard to sum-up. I’m a theatre director and Community Arts Practitioner. I worked from home for a couple of weeks, but then the theatres shut. Most of the staff have been put on furloughed leave and I’m so grateful I’m not in immediate financial distress. I know as an industry we are creative and resilient and we will return, it’s just hard to not do my job in the meantime. Leeds Playhouse, where I work, has three theatres and each theatre has a ghost light burning, waiting for the audiences, staff and stories to return. In the meantime I volunteer at the Foodbank 3 times a week, and the other days I volunteer for a charity called Age UK doing well being calls to isolated older people.
Skating and the online community has been a bit of lifeline. It has been great to shift my focus, to learn new things and to stay connected with friends. A cherry on top was that my new Moxi Vegan Jack Boots were luckily shipped before the pandemic, and I got my dream set-up from Roller Girl Gang (an amazing build by Mel!). So it’s been fun to have some time in my kitchen to break my skates in and to try them out in my flat’s carpark. Apart from that I’m learning how to play the guitar, how to paint and I also have a LOT of plant babies to look after, they all are thriving with the extra attention (except for my angry aloe vera, I need to leave him alone, but I love him!).
Len, U.K: @poseliketwiggy
It has been 9 LONG weeks (and counting) since my last skatepark skate and it feels like an eternity, such a lot has happened in that time. I went into this lockdown feeling quite optimistic – I ordered a large piece of ply-wood for my kitchen floor so that I could drill roller dance skills and train. I began to make video tutorials of beginner skate skills and enjoyed the freedom to wear silly outfits at home for no reason. However the novelty soon wore off and the times when I was by myself at home began to feel more and more draining.
I felt tired all the time and lacked the motivation to skate alone – I realised how much I thrive on interaction with others and love skating by feeding off of other people, sharing skills and bouncing off one another. It just didn’t give me the same joy to skate alone. When I tried connecting with others online in zoom chats it actually made me more upset that I couldn’t be with them and weirdly left me feeling more lonely and anxious than before so I started to withdraw.
A friend suggested as a joke that I should learn to cook (I am a terrible cook) during lockdown and connect with people on facetime. This was a great idea and having contact with people 1:1 was so uplifiting. I have connected with people that I’ve not even met before on a deeper level and feeling like I’m not alone in this has made me appreciate the friendships and relationships I have so much more. I can’t wait to see you all again and be able to skate together but for now I’m more content pursuing new interests and focusing on the here and now – creating art with my kids and enjoying quality time. We did manage a couple of sneaky outdoor skates when it got unbearable and I just had to stretch my legs but I am also worried about the safety aspect and don’t want to risk injury and be a burden on the health system at such a time.
I think the skate community has been incredible – really pulling together and being creative, imaginative, supportive and loving.
Lets keep it up when we get out of this and can really skate together again! x
Kat Teabags, Australia: @kat_teabags
Lock down for me hasn't been very locked down! I am apparently an essential worker so have been working the entire time.
The biggest difference for me has been that I still have to go to work but I am not allowed to do any of the fun stuff I would normally do!
Roller derby training is cancelled along with all the other things I cross train with to try and get buff and better at roller derby!
I am also the type of person that once my motivation has some momentum I can absolutely capitalise off of that. But if for a moment I loose the momentum. It is so hard to get back into a routine.
For this reason I set myself little goals. Then when I crush them I feel positive :- Start reading a motivational book, call home, listen to a podcast, do a physio session for the sake of your poor knees, watch a tutorial.
If you dont feel up to skating, just put them on for an episode of the walking dead, and if you can't do that then bloody clean them.
I give myself the week. I am on overachiever so I push for more but its very encouraging when your goals are manageable.
When I feel like I am totally drowning though I grab my skates and throw myself down a hill 😅
Karen, U.K: @dallaspops
Lockdown for me has been a strange time (as I'm sure it has been for everyone else!)
Until recently I was still able to do my job but from home so this meant that my skating time was restricted to evenings only. This helped me keep a routine and I'm grateful I could work but I also had patches when I could see everyone having more time to skate and practice but I didnt.
I quickly joined the RGG members forum and had a go at a mix of the lessons and tutorials from the gangsters.
Do I like zoom meet ups/video tutorials? It depends on the day haha. Mostly it's been a good experience and have found it an good alternative to see my friends as well as take lessons from amazing skaters all over the world I wouldn't usually. However other times I have become frustrated with signal/small space issues. I also feed off other peoples live energy so I've found that tough when having a go at routines.
Going forward I'm really just counting down to meeting up with everyone and being in the same room to dance and skate! Imagine that!!
Emma, U.K: @littlefovz
As the world went in to lockdown almost 9 weeks ago, as well as feeling like my whole world was crumbling, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to see the people who I spend up to 4 days a week with, my skate friends. These guys have been keeping me going emotionally since my fiancée has been working away in Canada and now not being able to see them made me feel empty. I knew that I needed to ‘fix’ that problem and continued to skate in the extremely small parameters of my bedroom as I didn’t want the one thing that I enjoy to go out of the window. I was determined to keep going but was running short of ideas of things to do in a 2.5 metre x 1 metre space. Thankfully Roller Girl Gang began doing the online sessions so now I attend roller dance every Monday night, skate social on a Friday and have been doing Zoom meet ups with my pals to make up our own dances. It’s weird how the power of music, dance and the need to socialise with others has made me determined to keep practising. I have actually gained a lot more control in my movements as my skate place is extremely limiting.
Thankfully I have been able to find a small smooth piece of tarmac behind the field near where I live so on a few occasions I have gotten up early and practised some slalom skills and tiny jumps. It’s amazing how many people have stopped and chatted and recalled their past times of roller skating and it’s brought a smile to their faces and mine. I sadly haven’t done as much outside skating as I had planned because I do not want to injure myself so have been enjoying bike rides instead. What I am definitely going to take from this lockdown though is that being outside around nature is amazing and that I actually LIVE for real life experiences. I guess I already knew all that about myself but I know the feeling has just been enhanced a little more.