By Liv Crosby | I remember being ten like it was yesterday. I was the tomboy trying to fit in, struggling to figure it all out. But if I could go back and do it all over again, I’d hope to find a place like Moxi waiting for me—a humble storefront in a beachfront city with a diverse staff of coaches and teachers encouraging me to get on some roller skates and feel the freedom of gliding on wheels.
Moxi is Long Beach’s only roller skate shop and its pastel storefront in the heart of Retro Row has birthed not only the Long Beach Roller Derby League— which plays occasional matches at the Queen Mary Dome—but now Moxi Roller Skating School, a safe, fun and healthy summer program for local girls ages 7-17 that meets every Monday evening at the Bay Shore roller hockey rink. “Why roller skating?” you may ask. But a better question might be, “Why not roller skating?” Roller skating is an alternative sport on the rise, sneaking its way into the lives of out-of-the-box thinkers around the world and this time they’re back with a new skate culture and endless opportunities for mentoring strong, powerful youth. Although roller skates can be used as an independent source of daily exercise, games such as roller derby teach defense techniques and camaraderie while giving players both confidence and the balance of a ballerina.
As a Moxi Roller Skating School coach myself, I feel a sense of purpose at every practice I teach. When the five o’clock hour rolls around and I see a beachside roller hockey rink full of fresh faces, I know it’s my job to give them all we’ve got and make sure they remember why they are there.
Moxi Roller Skating School works on a variety of skills—such as defense, dance moves, power stops, endurance and the proper way to fall (and most importantly, how to get back up!). And at the end of every practice, no matter how we started off, we all feel as if we learned something and left a better skater than the time before. Moxi may be a skate shop, but it is also a family that believes in the talents hiding in today’s youth. We want to dedicate endless hours to our up-and-coming roller stars, and when we see all that time and work translate into self-worth and empowerment in our students, we know it was time well spent.
In most games it’s all about winning or losing—a tally of points that leaves only one champion. But every Monday night at Bay Shore hockey rink, I become surrounded by a group of first-place champions that are proud of every score they make.
In a world where positive outlets for our energetic youth (and especially for young girls) are being de-funded daily, we should be unplugging them from their virtual adventures and strapping on a pair of skates for a “wheely” good time. Interested on embarking on that roller journey? Moxi has a strict “no excuses” policy and offers a months worth of free practices as well as free rentals of pads and skates when check out the Sunday before practices. For more information on the Moxi Roller Skate School, contact Coach Liv at [email protected]il.com.
Photos by Shelby Dereszynski
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