Razors and Hedonskate rider Josh Glowicki recounts three years of almost non-stop travelling and the realisations he has come to about himself and his lifestyle choices as a result.
Since 2011, Josh Glowicki’s life has been one wild globetrotting adventure after another. He first travelled to Europe with close friend Fritz Peitzner, establishing countless friendships, creating numerous entertaining online edits, securing a new sponsor in the form of Hedonskate and getting arrested with Nils Jansons after a drunken evening culminated in a light game of running over cars. Arrest and subsequent police beatdown aside, it triggered an irrepressible desire to see more of the world that Glowicki is yet to suppress. These days his passport is starting to look pretty worn, and he can proudly boast that he has visited more countries than most pro skaters getting signature boots at the moment, and it seems his wandering days are far from over.
The Glow this continent first encountered several years ago is a different specimen to the one we are currently experiencing. He has the same positive energy that first won over an endless supply of friends and supporters on his maiden voyage to Europe, but there is a considerable difference in his demeanour. For starters, he is currently rocking a hair and beard combo that is akin to the Mike Myers’ character in The Love Guru and his wardrobe now resembles the lost and found box at a yoga workshop. His hyperactivity has been replaced with a calm, almost Zen-like state, and he has made considerable changes to his lifestyle in order to improve his health and keep blading for as long as possible.
One of Josh’s most appealing characteristics as a skater and an ambassador for the lifestyle, apart from his natural flow and interesting trick choices, is that he projects his love of blading onto others. This may sound like a relatively common thing, but in an era where the internet would have you believe that blading solely consists of message board trolls, relentless detractors and intensely elitist cliques, Josh’s character is a breath of fresh air in a culture that sometimes presents itself as impenetrable. It is easy to name countless well-known skaters who are incredibly talented on blades, but how many of them look like they are having fun doing it? Better yet, how many of them do everything in their power to include everyone around them in that enjoyment? The list just got considerably smaller, didn’t it?
The McKinney, Texas native is in his element at skate competitions and blading gatherings, regardless of whether he is blading or not, simultaneously acting as a hype man for the crowd while encouraging his fellow skaters to give everything they’ve got in order to entertain their captive audience. If you have been to any Winterclash in the last few years, there is very little chance that you have not seen or heard the presence of Josh Glowicki. This year he has used his special gift to connect with people to establish the Gypsy Camps in various locations throughout Europe alongside Fredrik Andersson, Scott Quinn and Montre Livingston, encouraging the next generation of bladers.
In addition to having a formidable attendance rate at major blading events in the USA and Europe, Glowicki has also managed to films some outstanding sections over the years, including full parts in the Razors team video Children of the Future, Brian Moore’s The City Never Sleeps, as well as online sections for Hedonskate and his incredible Razors Am edit. However, it’s been a while since we have seen a full part from Glow. In fact, the last full section that appeared online was his epic profile from Anthony Medina’s Dag Days. On the eve of his latest effort, GLObe Trotter, we decided to catch up with the relentless traveller to gain an insight into his mindset and how living out of a suitcase has affected his outlook on life.
Wheel Scene: What have you learned about yourself over the past few years of travelling?
Josh Glowicki: I have learned to simplify life. I don’t rush an more, I do things slow, ‘cause it’s all about timing. I have learned to do more with much less. I’ve learned about abundance. There is an endless supply of everything in the universe. I have learned that you get what you give, straight up. I try to help out anyone that I can. I enjoy helping people. There have been many times I have been stranded, with no money and nowhere to go, and someone has helped me. I’ve been completely out of money and had friends just come up to me and give me a ten pound note and just smile as if they knew I needed it. The universe always puts whatever you need in your path, but it’s up to you to choose how to acquire it. The girls, the adventures, the opportunities are all staring you in the face; you just have to choose the direction to take.
I have learned the law of attraction. I am a magnet, attracting all this awesomeness that’s my life, as well attracting the hard times that come along with so much awesomeness. I’m blessed with the greatest friends and energies in my life. I have learned what it means to be grateful. I’m thankful for each and every second I get to roll on my blades. I injured myself a few years back in Berlin and after that point is when things really shifted for me mentally. That’s the moment I realised I had been taking this whole life thing for granted and by hitting my head it really gave me a second to reflect and figure out what I was actually in this for. I’ve learned about diet and nutrition, and what my body actually requires, not what I’ve been taught to need.
“Every time I return home I come back with new ideas, ways to cook, things to eat, ways of living, and these ideas stay with me. They make sense to me when the way things back home don’t.”
During one of our recent discussions you mentioned that you went back to Texas for a little while but realised that it wasn’t for you. What has changed?
I love Texas, don’t get it twisted, but at the moment this bird needs to fly. First off, mega shout out to my Texas fam all over the state, you know who you is and you also know what it do! I think what changed most was my desires. I’m all about simplifying myself in an ever-growing, complex life. I remember one time I came back from a tour and I never used a proper towel while on tour. I got used to using a super soft clean T-shirt. It’s all the same right? Well, I got back to my house, where I live with one roommate, and we will maybe have two or three people staying with me at the most. I had something like 15 towels in my laundry. Why did I have so many? Because we are taught to collect, to buy something new, go to Wal-Mart and buy it real quick. Every time I return home I come back with new ideas, ways to cook, things to eat, ways of living, and these ideas stay with me. They make sense to me when the way things back home don’t.
What was it like visiting Richie in Canada?
Visiting Richie was dope! Unfortunately, we didn’t make it Regina, the region of Canada that he is from, but we did see Calgary. Richie is such a legend to people all over the world. What started as something like, “I dig this guy’s style of skating and tricks” has evolved to “This guy is on the next level wizard status”, and I’m not talking about on rollerblades, but in life as well. E has been a big role model for me since I was younger and he continues to be. He has been right there by my side during some of the craziest moments. We’ve gone through so much funny stuff together, be it a funny girl situation, where I’m reminded “not to put it on a pedestal” or “stop cupcakin”. We’ve had some travel problems, police problems, financial problems, but whatever problems arise, Richie is always there to help me and keep me calm. He’s my reminder of how dope the universe is. And no doubt, every time I see him, after a short period, he’s got some new shit that he’s on, be it a new natural kick or a new idea about this or that. Last summer was apple cider vinegar – now it’s everywhere we go. It’s all too surreal that I’m blessed to call him one of my best friends.
Have you heard how he’s doing in Thailand?
Richie is smashing the game on that wizard level. He’s not even playing the game anymore, he’s creating his own levels. He sounds like he’s doing great coaching the national Thai team, training yoga, exercising, eating properly and skating everyday…with a steady pay cheque. Living from blading? Laced, if you ask me. Go coach, E!
The last time we spoke you said you no longer eat meat. What are the events that led up to you making that decision?
Well, many things have happened to trigger these new ideas. The vegetarian thing started after the Fritz and Glow Invade Europe tour of 2011. That was my first time unplugged from the American food system and I noticed meat seemed fresher and tastier. I started to pay more attention to veggies and fruits. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a real blueberry in Sweden. The ones we have back home are white inside, but the real ones are super red that stain your clothes. I got home and started to see how weird and fake our produce was. I started to search the farmer’s markets and local shops for the best produce. The more I travelled around, the more I noticed that I did not require all the regular American bullshit in my diet. I didn’t need a fried piece of fake meat with two genetically modified pickles and onions on something that they are calling bread. I started to pay attention to how I was feeling after I ate meat as opposed to how I felt after I ate a salad. I noticed that I felt terrible after eating a burger and after eating rice, eggs and veggies I felt great! What’s really funny is that I keep meeting more and more people who are just like me and all these people teach me a new idea about my diet. “Have you heard of spirilina, or maca, or quinoa, or noni fruit?” Now the snowball is rolling down the hill and gaining momentum.
What happened in Canada that made you decide to stop drinking alcohol as much?
My first night in Calgary was my reintroduction to Mr. Rager, Kid Cudi style. It was the first time Fred Andersson and I had seen Richie Eisler since we parted ways in Peru a few months back. Dem boys were back together again, it was the NHL Cup Finals, we were in hockey country… Oh, what a night. We ended up being asked to leave a few places, breaking a few ping pong paddles and eventually waking up the next morning asking questions about the night before, all coming to learn that we had been kicked out of all the places we went to. They didn’t like our happy rage vibe. I’m pretty sure the Swedish Viking chant came out a few times and that’s a wild sound the first time you hear it.
It had been a few months since I had a night like that and that was my turning point for the summer. I had told myself, “No more. This summer is on a different note. This year I am not going to get drunk.” This was not going to be easy because of all the parties and festivals ahead of me, but I was convinced that I never wanted to wake up feeling like that again. Comfortable in my decision, I started the process of answering the common questions – “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you drink?”
Were you a big drinker before?
All the drinking and partying didn’t really start for me until Fritz and I went on our first adventure. I went to France for two months, fell in love with a French girl, fell in love with the French life, the cheese, the wine. I still enjoy and bottle of French red maybe, from Chinon or Bordeaux, with some cheese and saucisson, but I’m chilling on the alcohol right now. I still go out and go to after parties, and I have more fun now that I used when I was drinking. I remember everything that happens. I don’t lose things much anymore and normally now I’m the guy everyone asks, “What happened last night?”
“I grew up watching Arlo (Eisenberg) and his friends in the Hoax videos, so maybe that’s where this travel idea could have come from.”
How are you finding it?
I have never been that into drinking or its effects. Growing up, all through high school, I was never the party boy. Instead of going to the football games or school functions, I spent my weekends nights skating and dreaming about this exact moment, to where I can do whatever I want with my friends because of skating. I can live in Spain, Peru, France, wherever I want, because of skating. No coaches, no rules, no right, no wrong, no more no, only, “Yes, I’m down, universe. Let’s go!” The next time you’re invited to do something, go, ‘cause an invitation is a road to somewhere you want to be. I grew up watching Arlo and his friends in the Hoax videos, so maybe that’s where this travel idea could have come from.
Do you think these choices have changed your outlook on life?
It has given me some new ideas, but I wouldn’t say that I have changed. I’m still the same happy kid I have always been; now I’m just super aware of what’s going on around me.
I understand that you and Montre had a little trouble at customs recently. What happened there?
The UK is always hard to get into. At customs they always seem to trick you into an answer. Montre and I didn’t say what they wanted to hear. Borders are kind of funny, if you think about it. Visas are lame, too.
For people who don’t understand, explain how collecting cans at Roskilde enabled you to enjoy a somewhat luxury dining experience one night!
This a great story. Well, basically, Copenhagen is the shit! They have a can and bottle system set up for recycling – it’s a good system, too. All supermarkets have a bottle receiver. It’s something like three cans or two bottles is about one dollar. Roskilde is a huge music festival with over 150,000 people drinking like it’s their last day on Earth, so your boy knows the recycling game pretty well. My first year at Roskilde, when I found out about the system, I recycled with my friend Daniel for about two hours. We earned about 350 euros. We were pretty good, but Mathias Silhan and Scott Quinn were on was some next shit. They had come up with a way to do all that work in about 15 minutes. I can’t give away the secret, but it’s all about timing. We had one recycling specifically because we had seen this super lavish, high tone, fancy pants restaurant and we wanted to eat there, so we got it. We laced the recycling thing in a few minutes and then balled like the NBA! We had the most epic plates of fresh fish and fresh salads, and it came with a nice bottle of French red wine. Mathias being the French G that he is knows his wine.
You are in Malaga at the moment. How has that been going so far?
Malaga is dope. The people here are incredible. We have been taken in like family by Uani and Aritz! This city is dope, south of Spain, so the winters are warm. The water is fresh. We are five minutes from the beach. There are no tourists or people walking around trying to sell you cerveza, the food is farm fresh and at a good price. During the days the streets are full of elderly folks and at night the kids come out. There are so many spots to find here. We started looking for an apartment yesterday.
What’s it like being on tour with Anthony Medina this summer?
Just being out in the early morning is perfect. I woke with Medina about nine for a little solo session. These early morning filming sessions remind me of when we were back in Texas filming for my Dag Days profile, only this time we are in Malaga and we are skating a giant whale on the beach. Getting time to skate and film with Medina is the absolute best! I’m excited to see what we will create together in the future! This whole summer has been a constant laugh with him around. He’s always got his camera rolling, catching the perfect moment. He is for sure one of my favourite people to work this. His filming is flawless and his editing is on point! I’m blessed to have Ant in my life. Thanks for all your help this summer, man. The camps, events and parties wouldn’t have been the same. Texas in the building.
How was la feria?
La feria was pretty insane. I have seen some crazy shit before, but this takes the cake. To me, la feria was this giant, and I mean giant, gathering of the entire city into a few square kilometres. There are rides and games littered all over the place! If you’re American, it’s like one of those local fairs you had in your town…but on steroids and multiplied by 50. There are two parts of it. During the day, it’s in the centre of the city and at night it’s outside of the city. Both are nuts and both parties don’t stop for one week straight. Luckily for us, we arrived halfway into it. We had a few crazy nights out all night, meeting so many nice people. La feria is comparable to Roskilde – so many people in one area. It was kinda cool for Fred and I because we basically got to interact with all the locals before we decided if we wanted to live here. What a great way to arrive into a city. Malaga, baby!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
My plan for the rest of the year is to chill. I may sneak out to an event or two, but I’m planning on chilling, learning that vida Malageno. I have loads of work to take care of from this year’s tour, camp edits to make, camp photos to edit, camp emails to mail. I will start organising stuff for next year. I will visit Morocco and Portugal. I will be on the beach every day, as well as on my skates. I plan to be here for a few months before heading back home to be with my family! I have two new nieces, Adilade and Hadley, who I’m very excited to see! I’m juiced have a small routine and yoga time. I feel like I need to take a second and rebalance myself ‘cause this ride has been crazy, and it’s getting crazier, and there are no signs of slowing down.
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