138: Valeria Kechichian/A Sign From The Universe

Valeria Kechichian, Mallorca, October 2020. Photo: Tozer

Since I started the podcast back in February 2017, a few classic themes have become familiar to listeners. Creativity. Independence. Perseverance. Individuality.

Community, too – although not always in a wholly positive way. After all, community was always supposed to be at the heart of this thing. And yet, for every positive story about action sports as community – usually relayed by white, male guests – there’s been an equal number of tales of rejection, hardship or outright hostility from that same supposedly progressive and open-minded community.

Valeria. Photo: Tozer

This context is what makes the work of Valeria Kechichian so important and impressive. For the past decade, Valeria has been one of the driving forces behind the Longboard Girls’ Crew, which has quietly become one of the biggest communities in action sports. Now she’s taken that experience into her latest role running new non-profit Longboard Women, which will use longboarding, arts and educational programs to create change in disadvantaged communities around the world.

As you might imagine from that brief description, Valeria is a hugely inspiring force of nature, and her own tale is a fascinating combination of personal and universal themes, and a lesson on how your own transformative experiences can create change live and inspire others.

Photo: Tozer

Above all, Valeria’s story, and the wider tale of the longboard community she has helped establish, is a welcome reminder that there is more than one way to experience the freedom, liberation and – yes – community that lies at the heart of our culture. And how, if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the existing community, you can create your own – on our own terms.

Listen to the episode here:

Connect with Valeria

Show Notes

  • Where Valeria is living at the moment
  • Being stuck in Argentina for five months
  • The positive impact of not being able to travel
  • The benefit of time
  • Your own version of faith
  • Valeria’s miracles
  • The idea of ‘karma business’
  • Origins of the Longboard Girls Crew 
  • The impact of their first video
  • The importance of the Olympics for inclusivity in sports
  • Finding positivity in the slowness of change
  • Current projects
  • What’s the plan long term?
  • Why longboarding is a tool for change
  • Choosing to live without a house
  • Living the honest life

People Mentioned

 

 

Places Mentioned

  • Spain
  • Argentina
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Mallorca, Spain
  • Madrid, Spain
  • France
  • India 
  • Malaysia
  • Chile
  • Ghana
  • Belgium
  • El Salvador
  • Armenia

Companies/Brands Mentioned

  • Nike
  • Longboard Girls Crew
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Olympics