For the 70th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Abdiel Colberg González. Abdiel is a 37-year-old inline skater and freelance photographer living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA.

What steps did Puerto Rico take to battle COVID-19 and how are things there now?

Puerto Rico went into lockdown on March 15th with everything shutting down, except grocery stores, pharmacies and laboratories. All public and national parks, as well as beaches, were closed. The first eight weeks were strict, no one was allowed outside, unless you were buying food or going to the pharmacy. It was tough, but in my opinion the restrictions worked, as we did not have many COVID-19 cases or deaths compared to the rest of the United States. Now most of the businesses and beaches are starting to reopen with some restrictions. It is required to wear a mask when out in public or inside a business.      

Were you skating during the COVID-19 lockdown? Are you skating now?

I didn’t skate for the first month and a half. My family and I stayed in full lockdown mode until I realized it was safe to be outside and exercise. As long as you practice all the preventive measures and take proper precautions while out, there is no need to be fearful once you get back home. Now I feel very confident when leaving my house to skate. It is really important to go outside, to exercise and get fresh air. Fear can be unproductive for your immune system, as you need to have it as strong as possible, especially now.

Where are you going out to skate?

I usually go out and street skate. We have some good street spots and skate parks that are kind of hidden from the public. However, nowadays, everyone can get out and exercise without a problem. So I go out and skate anywhere that has good obstacles to play on.

Is there anything that would make you stop skating?

The only reason I’d stop skating is if the pandemic got out of control here and the government restarted the lockdown. I would not stop skating out of fear, but rather to avoid problems with the law.

Are you doing any cross training?

No. I used to go to the gym, but it has been closed since March. Hopefully it will reopen soon.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

Spending time with my wife and two sons is pretty much all I do.  We love to go to the park to skate, ride bikes and play, but our favorite thing to do is going to the beach or river.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

I don’t like having to social distance and not be able to shake hands or give hugs. Limiting myself, when it comes to social life and family, really sucks. Everybody is living in fear. Coronavirus has also affected my line of work, with every project I had now being on hold. Economically the pandemic has been horrible and has left me jobless.

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

My major concern is that we realize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy in body and mind should be a priority in everybody’s life, in order to overcome everything that is happening in the world today.

How is your local skate community responding?

In Puerto Rico I’ve been seeing more and more people inline skating in the streets. It is a great thing to see! Our aggressive skate community, like myself, stayed home for most of the lockdown, but now everybody is out skating when they can. We try to maintain social distancing when possible, however our skate sessions are not with too many people.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Stay healthy and if you are not, fight to regain it. Change your lifestyle, eat healthy, exercise, meditate, go out and skate. Don’t let fear control you! Follow all the simple preventive measures and enjoy life. Much Love!

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All photos by Paul Moulier Sepulveda.


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