Image 01


You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

quitter le froc

February 17th, 2010 by biscuit

Ok, when you read this, please don’t be disappointed in me.

Roller derby is SO FUCKING COOL. I mean, it is amazing.

First, it’s a serious sport. If you thought it was about short shorts and girl on girl action, you’re not completely wrong, so if you’re planning on going to see it for that reason don’t let me stop you. But more than that, it’s about technique and strength and speed and lots and lots and lots of practice.

Second, it’s a sisterhood. Not only do you need to be sisters when you’re on skates, to anticipate and protect and assist, you automatically become sisters off skates. When I look at my 30+ new facebook friends on derby, their pages (and mine) are at least half derby, all the time. There’s even a VIDEO that a derby husband made about the sisterhood within our league.

Also, the clothes are pretty fab. Have you seen the shorts and tights my mom bought me for my birthday? No?

(Yeah, I just posted a picture of my ass on the internet. Everything my father warned me about has now come to pass – BLOGGING IS A GATEWAY DRUG, PEOPLE.)

So, speaking of derby, in case you haven’t yet seen where this is going… I’m quitting.

I have good reasons for quitting. My knee is ten kinds of fucked up, I’m smaller than everyone else and wussy about it, and my skates are missing. A stronger woman than I would power through – everyone who starts derby from scratch goes through some equivalent of this, but I am not that woman.

Here’s the thing. I like to try things before I decide they’re not for me. That makes sense, right? I mean, if I’d decided to try out for derby and then wussed out at or after the try-outs, wouldn’t I spend the rest of my life wondering if it woulda been my thing? That thing that I was insanely passionate about, that would help me mentally define myself?

I also tried out being an engineer. And a pastry chef. And working in manufacturing, and working in sales, playing rugby, and managing a small business. I like to thank my explorations in those areas for my analytical mind, my delicious cupcakes, my understanding of process, my willingness to fall down, and my ability to get strangers to do what I want.¬†I wasn’t passionate about any of them, which is why I’m all corporate now. If you’re going to be neutral about your job, pick one that pays well (words of wisdom, courtesy of me).

I paint (sometimes). I write, obviously, but not in any way that makes a difference in the world or in my life. I have managed to keep several orchids alive. I’m not freakishly passionate about any of that, either, although I certainly enjoy it.

I am passionate about my puppies. I am passionate about Crockett (formerly known as ‘the boy’). I am passionate about my little dollhouse of a house, and I am passionate about the men and women that I love. I am passionate about running – maybe not¬†competitively, but as a daily version of meditation.

I wanted so badly to be nuts about derby, but I’m not. I know there’s a possibility that I would like the actual playing more as I got better at it – maybe that’s more than a possibility, maybe it’s a for sure, but honestly I don’t really care. I want to hang out with my girls; I want to hang out with my mom and Crockett and my girlfriends; I want to re-read all of Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis (RIP); I want to heal enough to start running again.

I hope derby appreciated having me, albeit for not very long, because I certainly appreciated them letting me in. I will keep the clothes, for sure, and I’m hoping against hope that I’ll get to keep at least some of the girlfriends. (Ladies, if you’re reading this, DON’T LEAVE ME!!!)

You don’t really know me, my internets loves, and yet I’m worried that you’re going to judge me for this. I am judging myself. But it turns out I wanted to be a derby girl more than I wanted to play derby, and there are plenty of girls out there who want to do both. I bow to them.

13 Responses to “quitter le froc”

  1. Vivian says:

    I’ll admit it , I felt like a wuss when I quit after my first full season of derby. And there were a myriad of reasons: I skated two bouts with a torn MCL that was eventually so bad I couldn’t walk down stairs without causing a serious backup of people behind me. I was attending university on a full-time schedule and working 4 part time jobs at the same time. I had an incredibly unsupportive boyfriend at the time and started doubting my friendships with my fellow derbiers.

    I didn’t think derby would be as emotionally and physically taxing as it was and even though I felt like a wuss when I had to bow out, I remain in thinking that it was an amazing experience in which I still imagine I can hip check any one who looks at me wrong.

  2. Suzan says:

    Awesome post Emma. So honest and heartfelt. Your happiness and wellness far outweigh any negative association to “quitting.” Some one who tries is far better than one who doesn’t and just has what-ifs to content with. You gotta be passionate about what you’re doing. And frankly, I’m hoping maybe this means we’ll get to hang out more ‘cuz you rock–derby girl or not.

  3. emmanation says:

    Thank you. I will be happier – I certainly feel less stressed already, and some Suz time will DEF help :).

  4. emmanation says:

    I didn’t know it would be like this either. I appreciate hearing that it was hard on you too, although you stuck it out longer and had more going on when you were trying it, so I do feel a little wussy now :).

    The hip check thing is SO TRUE. Even though I have in no way proven myself tough, I still feel tougher than the average girl on the street just because I gave it a shot, you know?

    Anyway, my mentor just mentioned reffing, and I’m thinking about getting into that so that I don’t end up completely walking away from this new and interesting thing. We’ll see, I guess.

  5. Kortney says:

    I love derby. I love watching it. I totally dig the clothes and wish I had an awesome nickname. But I know I can’t commit. I used to feel guilty about never even starting, but there are only so many free minutes in the day when we’re not being paid to sit in a cube and I’d rather spend them with my loved oens.

    Hope you heal, the physical and the pride, and that you wear your rocking ass shorts when you’re running.

  6. emmanation says:

    Thank you to all of the hopes! Yes, the time commitment is pretty much above and beyond anything I was anticipating…. but this way I get to keep the clothes, AND if I ref I get a nickname anyway.

    If you’re never going to join, just strap on some skates and give yourself a nickname. You’re a derby girl at heart, I can tell.

  7. Tara says:

    You know I love ya, no matter what you do or don’t do. I am so glad I met you and we BETTER stay friends and see each other!

  8. Lisa says:

    Emma, I am so bummed that you aren’t continuing with derby. I didn’t really understand until I read your blog. Kudos to you for trying derby and so many other things! YOu are truly brave. And definitely do try ref-ing. And KEEP IN TOUCH!

  9. emmanation says:


  10. emmanation says:

    Thank you for understanding! I’ve officially decided to try reffing, so you’re not getting rid of me that easily :).

  11. D says:

    You DIDN’T fail or quit… you tried it and it wasn’t for you. I tried bicycle racing years ago and it wasn’t for me (although working on bikes WAS)… It all comes together… rest your body… and pat yourself on the back for having more spirit than 10 other people.

    Crockett! The photos! I get it (I think). – D

  12. emmanation says:

    Thank you :). And yes, Crockett! You totally get it.

  13. […] Hey, remember when I played roller derby for like one hot minute before I dislocated my tailbone? […]

Leave a Reply