The Student News Site of Freedom High School



Students and Staff Embrace New Hobbies On Wheels

Freedom Senior Samantha Tiong practices a trick on her skateboard. Photo by Karen Xu.

After months of being trapped inside during the COVID-19 lockdown for most of 2020, many people were itching to go outside and stretch their legs. Many also took the extra time that quarantine life afforded to try something new or return to activities of their childhood. According to market research firm NPD Group, retail bike sales rose 63% in June of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. Many stores had shortages of bicycles as demand skyrocketed during quarantine.

Freedom students and staff have also embraced cruising through the neighborhood streets through the pandemic. Freedom High School teacher Sarah Verdis has recently gotten back into rollerblading after growing up with a rollerblading rink near her house.

“It’s a great workout, you know, like it’s super fun to be outside and I feel like I tend to gravitate towards exercises and workouts that I can do outside and also while doing with other people and being social,” said Verdis about why she enjoys rollerblading.

“I remember the first time that I tried it, I went with my roommates and we live with a decent amount of hills,” recalls Verdis. “The next day I was super sore. So that I think is one of the main things that draws me to it because you don’t notice that you’re working out, it’s different from doing a YouTube video at home and trying to do a high intensity interval workout.”

Freedom senior Samantha Tiong has recently started learning how to skateboard as well as some tricks on her new skateboard. 

“Skateboarding has given me a fun activity to do outside, get some fresh air, [and] stay in shape. It is an activity that requires more physical training than you think,” said Tiong.

Tiong purchased her skateboard in early March and has been relying on Youtube tutorials and videos on Tiktok to learn new tricks. 

“I enjoy skateboarding because it is fun to do with friends and I like being able to learn new tricks. When I go to college, I can find other people who have the same interests as me and I can create new friends at George Mason.”

For Verdis and Tiong, their newfound hobbies have not only been beneficial for their physical health but also for building and strengthening their relationships with others. 

More to Discover