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.