Editor’s note: Nancy Cox is the founder of Research Story Consulting and former CPG corporate researcher. Her work and play include words, sketchpads, cooking (not baking) and the occasional sock puppet.

Passions, hobbies, healthy distractions and even guilty pleasures – discover how the research community plays and how that plays out in their work life. In the Venn diagram of work and play, what happens when work and play overlap? Research colleagues share their work and play stories in this interview series by Nancy Cox. 

Skating is the challenging play that gets me out of my comfort zone and gives me that feeling of progress.

I’ve always been a bit of a daredevil. When I was kid, I loved shooting straight down a hill on my scooter. I was also an explorer. My rollerblades took me all over my neighborhood. I paused my wheelie-kid adventures when I was in college. After that, I attended grad school and started my career – exciting challenges, yet something was missing.

Late one Saturday night while scrolling Instagram, I came across clips of people rollerblading. I declared, “This is it! This is what’s been missing!” The next morning, I went on a mission to buy rollerblades. That was my first day back on wheels … I rollerbladed 10 miles! Soon after, I discovered a skate group in Cincinnati that taught women how to skateboard. The daredevil kid in me had always wanted to learn and now I had that opportunity as the sport has become much more inclusive of women.

My rollerblade and scooter experience helped as I was first learning how to skateboard. I already knew where my center of gravity was and how to balance on wheels but learning for the first time as an adult was challenging. I fell. A lot. But I didn’t let that stop me!

With a move to Atlanta and the pandemic, skateboarding became even more important. It got me out of the house and allowed me to explore my new neighborhood. I c...