by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
The internet is a fantastic tool for allowing us to connect with people we never would have had a chance to meet before. There are so many ways to meet skaters from all over the world and follow their journey through rollerskating – or at least – everything they are willing to share.
We do need to be a little careful about any message that may not be intended though. For example, we may not know that a skater is already a confident skater, or can perform the trick they are doing already. (I mean that would be a bit cheeky in my opinion to pass off they are new to learning a trick if they weren’t, but plenty of people do.)
Connecting in person is a far superior experience though. In person, we can read body language, tone of voice and inflection as well as the many other cues to understand the person’s message. Therefore mis-communication is less likely in person and we can be more courageous to say what we think.
Why am I talking about connection? Well, I’m over in Stratford, Ontario, visiting Elaine and Phil at Retro Rollers. We connected online during the pandemic, when skate shops the world over were overwhelmed with orders and attention. Since then, we have realised we have many things in common, including that we are at a similar life stage, with teenage kids, both own roller skate businesses and we teach skate classes too.
While we have spent plenty of time video chatting and messaging, it is still a next level to offer to have someone stay in your home. I feel extremely honoured to be their guest this week and look forward to sharing the conversations that we have with our separate communities. In the short time I've been here, I already feel a deeper sense of connection and thank the universe for having them reach out during 2020. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone in your experience is enough and connecting with the right people can be life changing.
Have you connected with anyone like this?