If you thought hobbies picked up during Melbourne's first stint in lockdown were bad, it’s only gotten weirder, and wheelier during the second wave.
If you thought hobbies picked up during Melbourne's first stint in lockdown were bad, it’s only gotten weirder, and wheelier during the second wave.

Step aside sourdough, there’s a new lockdown obsession

It was during our first stint in lockdown - which feels so incredibly quaint and such a long time ago now - that a strange thing began to occur.

With so much new-found time, energy and angst on our hands, people began to do what I imagine they probably did before iPhones, social media and Netflix came along. We invested in hobbies.

Not your usual run-of-the-mill hobbies undertaken with the aim of being turned into a side hustle at some undetermined moment in the future, but rather, hobbies that simply helped pass the time, and even possibly made our dark and indeterminate situations a little bit brighter.

Body transformation challenges were accepted. Copies of Anna Karenina were ordered. Puzzles were assembled. Musical instruments were picked up. Bread was baked. Oh how bread was baked!

The 90s trend of rollerblading and rollerskating is back. Picture: supplied
The 90s trend of rollerblading and rollerskating is back. Picture: supplied

But almost as quickly as restrictions began to ease, so too did our interest in these new and momentarily redundant hobbies.

Without the enforced confines of our home, and the ability to return to old world activities like socialising with friends (no more than five, of course) and discussing the true absurdity that had been the Tiger King experience, the need for a second language and that daily yoga practice quickly fell by the wayside.

But just like that, when we were so close we were suddenly so far yet again and into lockdown 2.0 we went, an entire city literally sent to our rooms to think about what we'd done.

Like all good trends, though, a new and substantially harsher lockdown called not just for the return of hobbies, but also, an evolution.

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The quarantine trend of baking bread is out and rollerblading is in. Picture: iStock
The quarantine trend of baking bread is out and rollerblading is in. Picture: iStock

 

 

With only an hour of fresh air and direct daylight sun (between all the rain) allowed this time around, people's commitment to making every outdoor minute count has gone to a strange place that, up until the world's near ending, had been respectfully retired to decades past and California.

 

I'm talking about rollerblading.

In case you've missed it or have been lucky enough to somehow escape the genuinely bizarre visual experience of witnessing adult humans moving through the world with wheels strapped to their feet, rollerblading (and roller skating) is back - big time.

Over the past six weeks, the bike track next to my home has been flooded with adults getting back to their 90s roots, strapping their feet into boots sourced from god knows where, pulling up knee pads, strapping on helmets and hitting the road while presumably checking their health insurance is updated.

Spending time on an activity that you can master or build up skill within can dramatically improve your mental health and wellbeing. Picture: iStock
Spending time on an activity that you can master or build up skill within can dramatically improve your mental health and wellbeing. Picture: iStock

Countless hours of research has shown that spending time on an activity that you enjoy, and that you can master or build up some kind of skill within as time goes on, can dramatically improve your mental health and wellbeing.

It's also well established that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from things like stress, depression and bouts of low moods (AKA every emotion of the pandemic), especially when hobbies are based in the outdoors and allow you to exercise.

But there's exercise, and then there's rollerblading. And while it may seem fun and challenging and like a cool nostalgia now, at some point all this pandemic mayhem too shall pass.

The visual of you on rollerblades and decked out in top-of-the-line protective gear, though, might outlast even the world's deadliest virus.

katy.hall@news.com.au

Originally published as Step aside sourdough, there's a new lockdown obsession



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