I’ve had 4 concussions, more trips to the ER than I can afford, suffered many times from a brutal beating from a brutal team, and shed more tears than I ever did in high school. Nobody told me that playing roller derby was going to be easy and I definitely did not expect it to be, but nobody warned me of the emotional and physical roller coaster I was about to ride.
I have been playing roller derby for 4 seasons now. I have been Captain (or Co-Captain) all 4 seasons, Practice Committee Head for 3, and board member for 2. I practice with at least 15 girls a week, every week for a month, for usually 6-8 months a season. That many girls in one place, for that long, is enough to make anyone go mad.
It definitely hasn’t been easy for the past 4 ½ years. I have worked my butt off to become the skater I am today. To become the Captain I am today. To become the person I am today. Roller derby has helped me come out of my little, antisocial shell. It has helped me conquer my mental illness. Sort of. I think I’m always going to be a bit crazy. It has also helped me become a healthier person by eating right and quitting smoking. Have you ever tried to skate real hard, real fast, and smoke 1-2 packs a day? Barf.
But really, why am I still playing roller derby? I think the better question would be, “What would I be doing without roller derby?” Honestly, I don’t even want to know what I’d be doing. Roller derby has saved my soul and I wouldn’t give up anything in the world for the experiences and lessons I’ve learned. I am truly a better person. I have made some amazing connections with some amazing people that I will never forget and I’m sure my husband is happy about the physical transformations I’ve been though.
If there is one thing about this experience I hope to share with fellow skaters, it’s my passion for the sport, for learning and teaching it to others, and for my team. Even long after my bones and muscles won’t let me skate, I’m sure I’ll be coaching, a part of some support staff, or helping new skaters discover the awesomeness of being a part of roller derby.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Mary Angelou
-Sonic the Trackhog