Confession 1. Derby is hardI don't know if you know that, but it is. This is the first time in my whole life I have worked hard for something. I am almost 30 years old and stuff that was hard, historically, I have quit. Until now. People have asked me why I keep going, through injury and self-doubt, to practice after practice where sometimes I have literally been beat down. The only answer I can give is that I want to BE a derby girl. I want to earn my fishnets and booty shorts. I want to see my family and friends wearing the name I chose on the back of their shirts. I want to know I completed something really difficult and I want to be my own role model for it.
Confession 2. I have never been an athleteI was a figure skater growing up, and don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying it isn't a sport, but I am saying that the lazy, half-assed, social hour way I did it made it not so sporty for me. This really piggy backs off Confession 1, but when you're really out of shape like I was/am, you will feel like you were in a car accident a few days a week for several months. When Texas Chainsaw Mascara hits you over and over (and over) for 2 hours that is just going to be a reality of your life. When Double Destruction says "30 more seconds!" one more time and you think you can't do it, the biggest surprise of your life will be that can.
Confession 3. It's the little things that matterI can remember some practices where I seriously considered walking out and the thing that kept me going was the community. When Missling Dixie shouted "You can do it! Faster Molly!" it became possible that I really could do it. Or when I hurt myself and, in my pain and delirium, thought I had ruined my knee, my peers took a knee for me. They clapped for me when I got up. They helped me limp off the track, and no one made me feel small for it. I have memories of that moment which still echo in my little derby heart and I know those ladies have my back. During a really hard practice it can be other things that make the difference; the sound my wheels make when I do an awesome snow plough, or the swiftness and grace I feel in my feet when I do crossovers, sometimes (and for me this is becoming a little more regular) a well placed and timed hit can mean victory on the night for me.
I used to tell people "I come from a scattered tribe" meaning my friends, the family that I chose, were no longer in the same state as me. They were in Wyoming and Massachusetts, Texas and California, but when I came to Derby, I had a new tribe. They are a vibrant, beautiful, multi-talented group of women and men who want to see me succeed. Um, excuse me? There are a whole bunch of women who want to get together and not talk about feelings, but we can hit each other and they're happy about it? Yes. Sign me up. Right now, and everyday after.
For those of you who are thinking about joining derby, I think you should do it. Your trainers will give you the tools you need to succeed but it's the community that you build here that will keep you active. It's hard, and you're going to want to quit sometimes, but it's worth it. There is a recruiting meeting Tuesday, Aug 21st at 8:30pm. Rollerland. Be there. I know I will.