When Shirah Wepman was dealing with a depressive episode last year, a friend recommended she start roller skating. "My physical health was declining as well, due to not getting off the couch and sleeping all day," the roller skater told POPSUGAR. Roller skating was a fun activity that would be easy on her joints, a way to get moving and try something new.
Wepman decided to share her experience on Instagram, she said, "because I haven't seen too many skaters like me. I want to show everyone that anyone can skate if they put the time and effort in." Opening up on social media hasn't always been easy; she said she's gotten backlash, and it's taken its toll. "I just try to remind myself that I have so much love and support behind me, that it's making all the hate worth it."
Being vocal about her support for other plus-size skaters is crucial, Wepman added. "I know what it's like to feel 'too big' for a sport that is dominantly fit, beautiful people," she explained. "We need to bring awareness to the fact that anybody can skate, no matter what shape they are." To other plus-size people thinking about pulling on a pair of skates, Wepman's message is to go for it. "It's absolutely terrifying, but I have done it and seen many others as well," she said. "Be kind to yourself, and don't beat yourself up."
Check out some of Wepman's hypnotizing and empowering clips ahead!