QUICK SIX: Garret Mitschelen
Garret Mitschelen blew into San Diego less than a year ago and brought a jolt of new energy to the scene. In that time he’s repeatedly dialed up just about every session since his arrival, and lately we’ve headed to Los Angeles and Long Beach where those talents drew even more attention. Now, coming off his Blading Cup Qualifier win and with a full profile edit ready to drop, it’s time you got to know more about this mid-west talent that’s tearing up the coast and that you’re sure to hear about for a long time to come.
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Hey Garret, let’s start this off right: How old are you, where are you from, and how long have you been blading?
I am 23 years old, I am from South Bend, IN and I have been blading for about 14 years.
You graduated college not too long ago too, right? What did you study and what school is your alma mater? What was the sequence of events that led to you moving to San Diego?
No, I actually did not graduate… yet. I went to Indiana University of South Bend for four years studying business but wasn’t able to pull out the degree. Last year at this time I was working over 50 hours a week as a restaurant manager and going to school at the same time. I had to drop some classes and was always stressed out. It was then I got a phone call from one of my best friends, Christian Macon, who convinced me that we both would not survive another winter in Indiana and we had to move to San Diego. I talked to my girlfriend about it and she hopped on board too. So for the next six months I just worked like a madman to save up money. I sold my car, bought a mini-van, packed it full and drove it across the country to San Diego, where I plan on finishing up school.
As a recent west coast transplant, has there been any culture shock in relocating from the mid-west? How about the blade scene, how is it different or similar to what you were used to back home?
Yes, coming from a small city there was definitely some culture shock. The people are really friendly and laid back, plus there is an amazing view around every corner. The blade scene out here is so sick! I’ve been here almost eight months and am still meeting new bladers. Back home if someone even strapped on a pair of blades I knew about it. And don’t even get me started about the perfect spots! I still cannot comprehend how lucky I am to be out here.
What about how you got started; what got you into blading and who were any early role models you looked up to? Do you remember any particularly encouraging (or discouraging) words or gestures that took place along the way?
There was a contest going on at the local skatepark and I went to go check it out. It was a skateboarding and rollerblading contest and I was immediately fascinated with rollerblading. The bladers just went so much bigger than the boarders. So I went and bought some aggressive blades and started going to the skatepark everyday after school. Soon after I met Daniel Kinney, and I remember he was one of the first older guys that didn’t treat to me like I was a little kid. He was very encouraging and even took me to Bitter Cold with him where I got to meet pros and see what rollerblading was really about.
From our time spent filming and hanging out, I’ve come to appreciate your laid back approach to stuff and the way you take care of yourself. Is there any sort of theory to your routine? When did you become conscientious about what you eat/cook, and how would you describe the effect it has on you?
After my first couple competitions I came to realize how out of shape I was. I would be winded and tired during the whole contest and then sore afterwards. So I decided it was time to do the best I could to take care of my body. Thankfully for me my mom was into eating really healthy and she taught me a lot. I was also fortunate enough to get a sponsorship through Complete Nutrition so all the supplements I wanted were free. However, I noticed the most improvement in my skating when I started to hit the gym. All of a sudden handrails started looking lower and were easier to get on. I wouldn’t get as winded or tired in contests, and I wouldn’t be too sore to skate the next day either.
Okay man, last question so let’s make it a good ‘un. So far in your time blading, what’s been your proudest or most satisfying accomplishment? And secondly, do you have a goal in blading besides just being the best you’re capable of? If so I’d really like to know more about it.
Hmmm… I’d have to say my most satisfying accomplishment was winning the 2012 Kentucky Battle, not only because that was my first big win, but because I had the most amazing girl ever with me and I like to think I won her heart that day too. As far as goals in blading, yes, I want to be the best I am capable of being. More than that though I would love to figure out a way to get more bladers paid! It’s no secret that pros aren’t compensated as well as they should be and hopefully one day that will change.
And it’s over! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Garret — and thanks for all the time you put into blading for your edit. Can’t wait to drop it tomorrow.
Photos by Steve Steinmetz
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You rock bro!
solid stuff guys!
Props to Garret. Seent this guy come up big over the past few years.