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My Skate Sisters

The Eight-Wheeled Dragons Beside Me

By Iris HarrisPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Every skate session has a group photo

She stands on the coping, staring down the six-foot wall. Wheels resting on the metal bar that meets the concrete. Taking a deep breath, she extends her right leg over the coping and drops into the bowl. Wind kisses her ear. She levels out on the surface bottom for three seconds, then proceeds to scale the adjacent wall on her eight wheels. Her black-colored blocks, which are attached to the truck of her quad-skates, land gracefully upon the coping. She slides her right leg out and brings in back within the one-second stall she is given. When her leg returns under her, she falls into a fakie (rolling backwards) back down into the bowl. With a quick 180-hop, she faces the metallic edge where she started. The sheer momentum carries her back up the wall, allowing her to roll into the next combination. Cheers from her skating sisterhood echo the skatepark, accompanied by the tapping of skateboards.

As an aggressive inline skater, I draw my inspiration from a group of fearless women who are often overlooked: skatepark skaters. I met them through our local CIB (Community in Bowls) meet-ups. The group is open to any skater regardless of gender, skill level, or mode of shredding, but during the meet-ups, the majority of skaters are women. Each one working on a particular skill or combination and draws encouragement from other skaters. Because CIB allows a safe space for all skaters in a still predominately male-sport, even beginners are welcomed. Furthermore, the group has thematic meet-ups where everyone dons on a costume and skate. There have been Halloween costumes, barbie-themed events and more. It is this caring community that makes this warm-hearted group of women my inspiration.

When I began park skating, I was nervous to go to the park alone to practice (as most women are, for obvious reasons). I wanted to improve and become a stronger skater. Luckily, I found the group on instagram and adjusted my schedule to attend my first meet-up. I arrived there at the scheduled time and felt safe in a park with other female skaters. Quickly attaching my skates to my feet, I joined the group. My shyness held my tongue despite my heart craving social interaction with people who shared the same interest with me. I watched as each woman landed a stall; jumped a gap two-foot gap; or dropped in a six-foot pool. Eventually, one of them rolled over to greet me.

“Hi, are you here for the meet-up?”

“Yes,” I replied. After an exchange of introductions, my nerves settled. I was able to focus on skating without feeling judged.

As time passed and our friendship bond strengthened along with my confidence in skating, I would hear, “Come on, Iris, you can do it.” It was the power of perseverance I needed to motivate me to continue my efforts to unlock a new skill. Their encouragement became the umbrella to protect my motivation from becoming saturated with doubt through my rain of failure. Thanks to this supportive group of skate sisters, I developed the skills to drop in many concrete skate bowls, mastered both a 180-turn and 360-spin, backwards stalled on coping, and so much more. My motivation in park skating ceases to waver because of the fearlessness of these women.

While our local CIB is a growing skate community, there is a core group of women who have become the dragons beside me. Breathing the fiery words of encouragement to heat my passion and love for park skating. Each new skill they unlock is enough to motivate me to focus on my skate goals. Whether in skates or off, they will continue to lift me beyond my personal set limits. Pushing me gently towards new goals in skating and in life. They are my skate sister. My family.

friendship

About the Creator

Iris Harris

An aspiring novelist. I enjoy writing ghost, horror, and drama. Occassionally, I dabble with some essays. You can find more of my work with the link below:

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Comments (1)

  • Leslie Writes3 months ago

    I was waiting for you to talk about your skating. I watch some of the videos on Insta. You and your friends kick ass! Very inspiring. 💖

Iris HarrisWritten by Iris Harris

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