A year and a half ago, I was in a darker place.
I dreaded turning 30. Then the day came and went with little event. I survived, but my life needed more. I found roller derby or rather it found me.
A month after the big birthday I attended my first meeting and practice. After one night of wobbling on skates, I found myself hooked.
I was sucked into a world that was all mine. I was surrounded by women with so much to share. Ok, i was in love.
The greatest lesson I learned was to throw out the preconceived notions, shut up, watch, listen and learn. For the first time in my life I invited constructive criticism and threw out my “I’m the best, and I got this” attitude.
Derby was definitely not the derby my mom knew.
It wasn’t like the years of sports I’d played either.
It was a world filled with patient, big hearted bad asses.
Never had I played a sport where an individual’s success relied so heavily on the success of the team. (and maybe I did but …) The only way to be better was to teach others to be better. For me, it was about realizing that no matter how awful I thought I was, that I was on a journey that every woman on that team had made or was making. It’s an understanding we all share.
Still, it’s important to throw out the preconceived notions, shut up, watch, listen and learn.
My 90 days are closing in. I’ve gotten a taste of scrimmage that can never be rinsed out of my mouth. The final countdown has begun.
Derby is much like a rabid dog with a thirst for blood-at first it’s a cute, timid puppy, then it lashes out, scratching just enough to get a taste for blood. After that, well, it’s game on!
The friendships, support and confidence I’ve gained since April have pulled me from the hole I was in. I’ve found what I needed to brighten my life.