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Natalie Boyd


Freshman nurtures a new skateboard as a way to have fun, relax, and survive life in quarantine and good grades.

Freshman Natalie Boyd (provided by Boyd)

Learning how to skateboard is an experience that Natalie Boyd would never trade.

With the wind, crisp enough to leave her nose and cheeks pink, rushing through her hair she has found that her struggles wane against the noise of the rushing current. The only sound other than her breathing is the scrape of the wheels against the dark cement of the street as the cacophony of sounds from Paso Robles hush as she concentrates on just skateboarding.

When a skateboard is beneath her feet she is able to coast away from the entropy of the world and of quarantine for even just a few minutes.


Two Natalies

The contrast between the Natalie Boyd of January 2020 and the Natalie Boyd of December 2020, is one that she will personally make as the new year approaches. With the first half of her freshman year completed, Boyd finds herself reminiscing at all the freedoms she had eleven long months ago. The Natalie of January was looking forward to promoting from middle school, had three dance competitions she had to memorize routines for and was anxious for the first day of her next four years of high school.

The Natalie of December may not have as much as the former, but she has learned to skateboard up and down the hills that are life.

It started in October- with dollars saved and pennies counted.

“I wanted to find a new hobby and [skateboarding] has always been something that I wanted to try, “ Boyd said. “Though skateboards are really expensive… once I’d finally saved up enough money to buy it, I thought, ‘why not try it’.”

Thus began her love of skateboarding as she committed herself to the new hobby. Over Thanksgiving, Boyd skateboarded for over an hour per day, and even after break ended, she dedicated herself to skating at least 20 minutes a day.


History has danced away

There was once a time where she would’ve spent hours at her dance studio, Artistry in Motion, and as a competitive dancer, it was an extreme change of pace when rehearsals were either cut down or reduced to a zoom call. In January, the very thought of her freshman year could galvanize her, but now the blasé routine of school encompasses almost her entire world.


“It’s just kind of like, constant work and no break. I don’t have time to do things that I want to anymore,” the freshman said. “Like many others, my mental health has gone down because.. there’s too much to do, and I don’t have time to do anything that I want to do like skateboarding, or drawing or watching TV.”

“I think everyone has had a different experience this year with quarantine. For me personally, there was a giant medical thing that happened with my family in May and so that was kind of hard. So pretty much just everyone is having struggles,” Boyd said

Rolling with it. Natalie jumps on her skateboard after school! (picture provided by Boyd)

No matter if it is for five minutes or one hour, skateboarding is able to bring
Boyd’s negative emotions to just a hum in the background and bring her inherently optimistic outlook on life back into focus.

 “I try to keep positive and remain a flexible person with most things. I try to adapt easily but distance learning has really tested that quality in me,” Boyd said.


Grateful for family

Despite the quarantine getting her down and the moments where she feels like she’s drowning in work, Boyd knows that she has a strong unit of family and friends that will always support her. Nevertheless, Natalie Boyd might not be the same person that she was at the beginning of the year, but with some good jams (one of her favorite soundtracks is from Top Gun) to keep her company and a skateboard for her to ride any of the hills that life sends her way, she knows that she’ll push through.



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