It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Julie Rockett …
BRECKENRIDGE – Julie Rockett grew up girly. Her parents encouraged her to take gymnastics, ballet and dance lessons throughout her childhood and when she rode her bike, she was not allowed to leave her neighborhood in Austin, Texas.
During that time, a skateboard was as foreign to her as a bulldozer, and it wasn’t until she moved to Breckenridge four years ago that Rockett began exploring “rougher” sports.
“I don’t see it as rebelling really,” said Rockett. “When I was a kid, I had a bike, but my parents wouldn’t really let us out of the neighborhood. We had to ride in the yard for a long time. I was so sheltered. We couldn’t leave the yard, that was outlawed. With skateboarding, you can pretty much just do your own thing. Back where my parents live, they have a skatepark now. Now I’ll go home to visit and say, “Oh! I want to go to the skatepark.’ My parents are like, “What? You have a skateboard?’ They pretty much have just resigned themselves to it – they’ll say, “She’s 27. We can’t do anything at this point.'”
At 27, Rockett feels there’s a lot she can do. Although she still considers herself a beginner skateboarder, she had 100 days on her snowboard last season and sees her athletic career as a work in progress. Also, with a name like Julie Rockett, she feels she should achieve some level of fame in her lifetime.
“When I was younger, I had guy friends that skateboarded,” she said. “But I didn’t have a clue. I couldn’t even stand on one. I’m still a beginner. A couple years ago, my friend Dana got me into it. She’s really inspiring. Now matter how good you get, there’s always something new to learn. It’s pretty easy to get started skating ramps and bowls. I do a little bit of everything on a snowboard. As far as the halfpipe, I’m not that into it. I like to go through it on the way down, but I’d rather spend my time on jumps or just hiking to powder runs. I just skate recreationally. All my friends say I need to be an athlete or a musician or something because of my name. I just like to get better at things for myself.”
Rockett is also an aspiring mountain biker. She bought a mountain bike during her college years at the University of Texas but really began challenging herself on local trails.
“I’d like to get more into it,” she said of mountain biking. “It’s really challenging. Up here, there’s something scary you see every day. In the summer, I have to do something – skating or mountain biking. Whatever gives you an adrenaline rush.”
Rockett thinks it’s unfortunate there aren’t more females in the skatepark. She and her female friends have discussed putting together an all-girl skate camp to help younger girls overcome the intimidation factor of the male-
“It’s kind of sad there’s so few young girls,” Rockett said. “The girls you see in the park are always over 18 and probably out of (their parents’) home. Little girls get intimidated. I’ll see girls at the Silverthorne skate park looking in on their way home from school. It’s kind of scary when you first get started. I’ve taken my friends out to teach them, and they’re scared too when they see how fast people are going. But there’s kind of an order to learning. You can get a turn in and just go from there.”
The Sports People series focuses on active Summit Countians every Tuesday in the Summit Daily.
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