September 6, 2012

Love, Loss, and Roller Derby

I can pinpoint the moment that I became a full fledged derby girl in my own mind. I had a really crap summer, I lost my grandfather and my uncle within about a month of one another. It wasn't a surprise but that doesn't actually make it easier when something like that happens. My normal response to moments like that is to close all the blinds in my house, turn off my phone, and check out for days or weeks at a time. But this time it was different. This time I had derby.

This is how cozy my house looks
in cases like this, only there are
more empty jars of Nutella involved.
I did my usual "darkness + alone time cures all ills" business for the entire derby break (for new recruits this was 2 weeks) talking to no one, just waiting for Tuesday's practice with a combination of anxiety and excitement. Finally, the big day rolled around and I had been holding it together pretty well at work and with friends/family. I walked into practice, marched up to Double Destruction (our trainer that evening) and told her what was going on with me emotionally. I only had one request, I wanted to hate her more than my life for 2 hours and I needed to forget about everything outside of our practice. She complied. She kicked the crap out of me and it felt good. I remember taking all my gear off, laughing with the ladies, and then it hit me that I didn't actually think about the world off the track for two complete hours.

Before that practice, the only thing that made me come to some practices was the obscene amount of money I spent on gear and skates. Needless to say, my dedication was spotty. After that practice, I was a derby girl. I became an athlete. I found that losing myself on the track was more emotionally productive than and combination of talking to my friends and family, hiding in my house alone, or anything else I tried up to that point.

Richard Simmons knows how to
get happy in his work outs!
People have talked about how working out makes you feel better, happier or something. I learned from Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde that "Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy" but this had never been the case for me. Exercise made me miserable. This was because of some undiagnosed health issues, but still, I always associated working out with pain and misery so it hasn't been my go-to response in times of emotional need until very recently. I am learning that my crutch doesn't have to be locking myself in the house with a brand new box of wine and every episode of Hoarders ever made. Yes, there can be some of that, BUT, what might also help is getting my butt on the track and knockin' some women around. This cataclysmic shift occurred for me on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at about 10:45 PM.  It was a grand moment which put a smile on my face that hadn't made an appearance in weeks.

Derby love,
Mollytov Maguire

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