For the 18th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Monserrat Tapiais, better known as Monchi Monse. Monchi is a 31-year-old inline skater from Mexico City, Mexico. She is part of the Rollerblade México Team and the brand Ambassador for Rollerblade in Mexico. She is a co-founder of “Quiero Patinar” skate school and a certified inline skating instructor through the Inline Certification Program (ICP). Her goal is to promote skating and to inspire and motivate others to try this amazing sport and experience it’s lifestyle.

What are the current COVID-19 restrictions in Mexico?

Things are getting complicated here in Mexico. We are in a phase where quarantine is not obligatory but the number of infections is rapidly increasing every day. All malls, cinemas, restaurants and bars have closed. The environment is tense and economically it is affecting many people who have lost their jobs and causing a decrease in sales for businesses and companies. The health system in Mexico is not good so they are struggling to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe? 

Yes, I am still skating but mainly just in my backyard. If I need to leave to buy something near my house I will skate to the store. When I go out I wear a face mask and glasses and always keep antibacterial lotion and wet wipes in my waist pack. When I get back home I take my skates off in the yard to clean them, paying special attention to the wheels, as not to damage the bearings. The majority of my time is spent at home, only leaving for work or to buy food and things that are needed around the house.

What would have to happen to make you stop skating?

I am fortunate enough to have a good sized backyard to practice skating in. I don’t only skate for the fun and freedom of it, skating really helps me deal with anxiety and all the worries surrounding this pandemic. I skate in my backyard for 1-2 hours almost every day.  We have developed some online classes for our students at Quiero Patinar skate school, with exercises and activities that can be done inside the house or in the yard. Regardless of house size, students can continue to move and enjoy skating. Street skating is something that will be forbidden at any time, once the next phase of the quarantine is initiated.

Are you doing any cross training? 

I love fitness and have been living that lifestyle and training at the gym for almost 10 years. Now that the gyms are closed, I’ve had to improvise and make weight lifting equipment out of common household items! It’s been interesting being able to adapt to the situation and keep training with the things I’ve built. I also do my skate training, which includes rollerfit, slalom and freeskating. 

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

Besides skating, almost everything I do is related to my skate school and fitness training.  I constantly love learning new things so I have been taking some online courses. In my free time I enjoy puzzles, reading, experimenting with craft making, drawing and painting 

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

I’m a super active woman, so having to slow down and stay at home has cost me some work, but I have managed to adapt and work from home.  The major change has been for my school, Quiero Patinar. Taking online lessons with limited space in your home is very different, but our students have adapted to these changes. 

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

I’m worried about how the situation is evolving in my country. I think a large percentage of the population is not taking the pandemic seriously. Things could get really bad here because many people don’t care. The amount of time this pandemic is going to last and how Mexico’s economy and it’s people’s health is going to fair after this is all over also concerns me.

How is the skate community in Mexico City responding?

Most of the skate community is responding well. They are using sanitary precautions, many are self-isolating while a few others are out skating in the streets alone or in a small group. 

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

STAY SAFE! For us skaters who are used to going from one place to another,  it is hard to stay home, but this will not last forever! We need to be patient and not just think about ourselves. Use this experience to try and explore new things. I send you all good vibes and thank you to all the medics, nurses and health staff out there and to the people who are working hard to find a solution to this crisis.

“I don’t go on skates to add days to my life, but to give life to my days.”


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