Friday, May 27, 2011

Derby is on the list

I want to share something to you. 
Something that I have wanted to become for years now.
A Derby Girl

Please note the date on the above picture. November 13, 2008.  This has been posted on my wall next to my computer monitor for nearly 3 years now.  I had been going to watch roller derby even beyond the date of that e-mail, when the only team was the Salt City Derby Girls, and the 4 teams that made it up.  We first began to watch them at the Olympic Oval.  Addie and I were devoted to 'Leave it to Cleavers', while the boys were all about the 'Bomber Babes'. If you have never been to see a match, let me tell you, it will make you a fan.  There is something special about it, something that makes you want to strap on skates and wear hot pants and fishnets.

I bought skates, I went around my house in circles like a clumsy fool, but I did it anyways.  I never had the confidence to go out in public to practice.  So my desire to do it was added to my 'weight loss bucket list'. This self-esteem issue I have will always be such a god damn inner battle.  There is no reason that I couldn't get out there and make my dreams come true at any size, but that is what happened.  Just like everything else in my life, I 'dreamed' of being something, rather that going after what I wanted.

The closest thing I ever became to a Derby Girl was at Halloween.
(really....I just wanted to post Gabe in his Dangle costume.....
anything to see my man in uniform. grrrrrrr.)

Then, one magical day, I noticed a post from Bill Frost at City Weekly on facebook.  It was a link to a recreational derby league called the Red Rockettes.  Are you kidding me?  Is it seriously possible that I can learn to play derby?  So, what did my co-dependant ass do?  I called my best girl Leanne and begged her to join with me.  She did, without hesitation, because she knew how much I have always talked about wanting to do it one day.  She is such an amazing friend, I can not tell you what she means to me.

After the first session, I was in love.  I came home and told Gabe, "This is finally going to happen for me"
I felt confident skating, I was willing to do the drills and learn the god forsaken cross overs that always scared me.  The group of girls who started were all there for the same reasons, to have fun with their love of derby.  A group I could relate with. time went on, I began to miss more practices.  A meeting here and there, a vacation, sickness, and before I knew it, I would show up to practice and feel completely out of the loop.  I had no idea what they were working on, I had not had anytime to practice outside of the sessions, and my shitty confidence levels began to drop back to their normal ways.  I started to get hurt, and when I would take a hard fall, (uh hum...skate in the vag anyone??) it would take me days to recover and I wasn't able to run at all for the Half Marathon I was training for.  I was at a crossroads trying to decide what I wanted, because I realized, I could not have both.  I decided to train for my runs, and then every practice that came up, I became depressed and cried all night because I wanted to be doing derby too.  I was really pissing myself off for not being able to have it all.
One thing I felt like I wanted from derby, even more than the sexy clothes and bad ass attitude, was a connection with the girls.  They are all so damn awesome, and I felt like I was losing my own 'girl' connection, by having Addie turn 18 and knowing that she would be gone to college in a few short months.  God knows I love my boys, but I was losing my daughter, and it broke my heart.  She decided to join the next session with me, and I was stoked beyond belief knowing we would experience that together before she leaves.  Well, shit happens and life plans interfere with the fun things you want, and it was not possible for her to do it.  Again, I fell back from it, and derby became another thing I felt I failed at.  Failure is the most common feeling for me.  I push myself hard, and even when I achieve something, I don't give myself credit for it.  When I fall short of a goal, that's when I fucking hate myself and I begin to doubt I will ever get to accomplish my dreams.
Leanne would call me every Thursday to see if I was going, and I never did.  I felt like if I showed up, I would be too far behind, and I am no fucking poser.  I am either in, or out.  But then, how can I have my connection, my night out with chicks so awesome I envy and still be able to live with my current goal of training hard for a marathon?  I am at a crossroads, and it tears at me like I never thought it would. 

This is where I stand, at the moment.  I have realized that my goal of accomplishing the marathon, and becoming a derby girl are the two most important things I have set out for myself.  I am not giving up on either.  The derby is going to be there, and after I run this beast, I will be able to go to derby without the fear of an injury causing me to fall short of the marathon.  I hope to keep it in my life until then either way, just taking it slow, going back to basic drills and just skate for the fun of it.  If this makes me a loser, so be it.  If it makes me a poser, so be it.  I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself.

I NEED this in my life.  These girls are so supportive of each other.  Everyone has their own uniqueness they bring to the mix, and there is something happening way beyond a recreational derby league.  It is a sisterhood, a family forming and a support base for ladies of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and lifestyles. 

I am honored to even be associated with this group,
and I will forever be a Red Rockette.


  1. We love you too! I can't wait to get you back on the track. You are in no way any sort of poser. I have never seen you do less than your best, and that is all we can ask of you. That is the beauty of our league. You come, skate as well as you can, learn something new, and come back when you can to do it all over again. Good luck with the marathon and we'll be waiting for your triumphant return.

  2. <3 Part of the beauty of a rec league is you can take things at your pace and your schedule and they'll be there with encouragement and open arms when you can make it. We all have different challenges and I just feel lucky to skate with you when you are there, no judgements!

  3. I love this post, and I'm so happy that you've been able to spend some derby girl time with us lately, off the track. I've loved getting to know you better and can't wait till you're back out there skating with us!