For the 88th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Lawrence Ingraham. Lawrence is a 43-year-old inline skater living in Durham, North Carolina, USA. For his day job Lawrence works at a big tech company doing software development and design. He spends the rest of his time creating content for his YouTube channel Back to Blading and running 50/50 Frames and Compass Wheels.

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

We’ve had a rollercoaster of COVID-19 here in NC. We were some of the first counties to require masks and enforce stay at home orders, but we also opened early. Our numbers are stable now but the last week of June was looking pretty grim.

Were you skating during the COVID-19 lockdown?

Yes, I’m still skating. I’m very fortunate to have a mini ramp in my backyard so I get out there a few times a week. I’ve also been out in the downtowns with a mask on, which wasn’t ideal.

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Is there anything that would make you stop skating?

I think if my family got sick that’d be the main motivator. I prefer skating alone and in early mornings so it’s much lower risk than others might have.

Are you doing any cross training? 

Nope, though I’ve adjusted my diet since COVID-19 to be more dense and less processed. Also I’ve cut down on alcohol, though I still enjoy my bourbon. 

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What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

Thankfully the industry has really exploded in demand, so I keep busy packing orders for 50/50 and Compass and placing production orders. I also still do the Back to Blading youtube videos weekly.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

The biggest change is the impact on family life. I’m spending more time with my kids, which is great but they also are getting a little stir crazy staying at home.

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

I’m concerned about all the people out of work due to their industries closing. Small businesses, coffee shops, movie theaters, all thos things which were heavily impacted. I’m also concerned about the racial inequality in our world and how Covid has impacted those communities harder than others.

How is your local skate community responding?

I’ve been to the skatepark a few times and everyone stays away from each other for the most part. When they get close to me I move or leave. It’s not worth the risk.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Appreciate all the support from the blading community these past months. I think we were all worried about the impact COVID-19 would have on the industry due to shops being closed for walk in business, but thanks to them the industry is booming. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy, and keeps skating.


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