For the 65th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Jona Seufferheld. Jona is a 28-year-old inline skater living in the mountains of Mendoza, Argentina. He is currently working on a music project with seven other musicians, friends and brothers called Mama Oclla.

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

The Argentinian government took very strict measures from the beginning. We were forced into a full lockdown with very serious fines to pay, if caught in the street, doing anything else other than buying food. Luckily the imposed measures have recently began to cool down. After more than 60 days in full doomy quarantine we are able to go outside, to exercise, for a couple of hours depending on your I-D number. If you ask me, it all feels like a concentration camp honestly.

Were you skating during the lockdown?

While still living in the city I skated a little with my brothers Seba and Javi before it all went to shit, but when it did, we packed our stuff and moved to the mountains where my parents live. It is a beautiful place in the middle of the Andes mountain range, with fresh air and water, but with very little cement to skate on. So as soon as we got there we built a practice rail with the worst run-up ever, but at least we were able to lock in a couple of maneuvers on the blades.

Is there anything that would make you stop skating?

I honestly think I will never stop skating. I already have plans to build the perfect bowl wherever I decide to grow my roots and settle down. I’ll be cruising until its over. But you never know what could happen along the way, maybe a serious injury would stop me, maybe not, who knows. All I know is that blading gives me the opportunity to move the body in ways that heal and keep me young. It is a very powerful tool to connect with the body and the creative child-like energy that is pure magic.

Are you doing any cross training?

I am not doing any type of exercise or training, other than going on walks on the mountain and doing yoga. I know this is probably a bad idea because the comeback to sloppy and flaccid muscles will be terrible, but I never got quite used to following a gym routine type workout.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

Living in the mountains theres always shit to do, but I try to center my attention in the music. I play the electric guitar, sitar, saxophone, shakuhachi flute, and other instruments, and most of the time I’m practicing and learning what I can from the internet and from experimentation. Whenever it is not raining or snowing or hailing or gnarly winds blowing, I like to skate the practice rail so I don’t get rusty, but its a p-rail you know? and I have two boards for the run-up and landing which totally sucks.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

COVID-19 changed many things for me, like not being able to see friends and family, or not being able to skate, to play music with the band, etc., but it also got in the way of finishing the recording of our first album. The momentum we had was perfect and now there is nothing to do but wait and come up with more ideas until we can gather again.

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

My major concerns in my personal world are trying to stay healthy, eating good foods and medicine, fasting regularly, keeping a good relationship with my family, using the time more productively, trying to do something every day to keep my direct environment beautiful and in balance, and working on the inner spiritual matters and the outer worldly ones too. On the other hand, I’m concerned about the new world order and where the people with power will lead the world to with their unethical decisions. Also I’m concerned about all these new obligatory control measures and massive vaccination programs. It its frankly too scary to think where all this will end up.

How is the skate community in Argentina responding?

The skating community, in my opinion, is strong virtually, since many of us are still talking to each other and sharing motivation and ideas and such. But in my mind, this family grows and gets nourished from sharing in the flesh and on the streets, and we are slowly getting back into that here.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

I would like to share a message of love to whoever reads this. I know we are going through really strange times, but I find it most importantly that we use this time to go within and learn about ourselves as beings living on mother earth. We are part of a vast organized intelligent environment that adapts, changes, grows and evolves. we often call it nature. And I think the pandemic we are facing right now is a sign that can be used to understand that our existence is fragile, and a possible way to survive is to start behaving like human beings who care about the planet we call home. It would be wonderful if we started to focus more of our energies into aiding the planet instead of only taking from it, and find a way to balance things out. I believe if enough people become conscious and start taking action it could dramatically change our experience, our understanding and our relationship with our planet and with ourselves. Hopefully we will be back rolling again soon. much love to all

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