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June Skater of the Month

Name: Art Garcia

Age: 45 as of June 20th

Marital Status: "Single Again"

Have been skating for how long: I really don't know. I started on ice when I was five, stopped for a while when I was 8 or 9 , then skated off and on for the rest of my life. 35 or 40 years I guess.

Equipment Brand and Type: My present Inline setup is 1997 Simmons Semi-Custom Create-A-Boot with True-Rev 5x84 frames. I have Fully Custom 4x110 Bont Vaypors on order.

Life Philosophy: Work hard and do good work

Favorite time of day to skate: Any time

Favorite skating event: Any... I love Pace Yourself

Awards/ Competitive Wins: Silver medal 1997 Quad National, 1st 1997 Ultimate Shootout, numerous other Indoor National, Regional and Invitational wins and placements(box full o' medals, ribbons, and plaques). 1st Mens 40-45 Half distance at the 2009 Texas Road Rash.

Art GarciaPhoto

Biggest skating adventure: Either being disqualified at 1998 Indoor Nationals for "pushing" (I hit him back) another skater, or... Breaking my right ankle at my first speed practice in ten years, then having to teach a friend to drive a stick shift on the way to the E.R. while holding ice on the aforementioned broken ankle and having a good laugh about the whole ridiculous situation.

Your 'why'/ what do you get from skating: When I don't feel well, skating makes me feel happy again. When I'm already happy, skating makes me feel even better still!

Would like to do this year in skating: Regain my strength, and destroy my competitors in at least one discipline of Pace Yourself, or just have fun getting back into shape.

Coolest Accomplishment: It's a toss up between walking again without crutches or a cane, and teaching my best friends' little girl to skate.

Other sports/hobbies you enjoy: I love road cycling, playing the bass guitar, goofing around with my computers, reading stuff, meeting nice people, listening to live music as long as it isn't country, and people watching.

Favorite skating gadget/tool: My legs. They are awesome!

Mentors: I once had a really great Pace Yourself coach named Desmer Benson. It was remarkable the way that he could dig performance out of me that I had never imagined possible. I also knew a great man named Alan Bourg who taught me everything I know about road cycling, race tactics, and how to savor a dark beer.

Helpful advice to other skaters/ Beginners: Using good form is more important than how fast you can push. Don't be too hard on yourself. Take it easy. Smile a lot.

Favorite Quote: "It never gets any easier, you just get faster." - American World Champion Cyclist and Tour de France Winner, Greg LeMond.