This morning, on my one year “derbyversary,” I happened to be scrolling around Facebook as usual, and thinking of writing about this past year. I came across an amazing blog that pretty much encompassed all my thoughts already. “How Roller Derby Can Save Your Life.”
Roller Derby may not have been the one factor that saved my life, but it was an integral part of the transformation of my life the past 2 years. My favorite line from the blog mentioned above was, “In Roller Derby, if you give your team everything you have, they just might give you your life back.”
I had to end my career of 11 years- coaching a sport that was my sole passion for 20 years, I was 9 months in recovery, 50 pounds overweight, feeling lost and trapped at the same time. I was nearing the end of an already doomed relationship… I was going through the motions, and I didn’t even really know it at the time. When I received a Facebook invite to a Roller Derby Boot Camp, three things caught my eye- different kind of exercise, make new friends, free 3 weeks. So, in the state I was in, I was very inclined to say “What the heck, why not?!” And I did. It was after that first day, after intense love at first skate, that I realized the motions I had been pushing myself through. It was then that I fully committed to turn those motions into strides, that complacency into hard work and dedication, and to move forward in life as well as on the track.
I skated every single day for those next two months. I skated in the morning with the older folks, the evenings at cheapskate. I traveled the state to hit up an open skate. I cleaned my house and played with my son with skates strapped to my feet. I gave absolutely everything that I had to learning, growing, and living Derby. And in turn, I may not have been given my life back, per se, but life was breathed back into me.
In this past year, I have lost those 50 pounds. I have regained a passion. I have met the most amazing, impressive, and inspiring women, whom I am lucky enough to call my derby sisters. I have refocused my life outside of derby, after being given back the strength that had been dormant inside me. I am forever grateful, and forever inspired by Roller Derby and those involved in this community.
“Most seem to find roller derby in transitional periods…. We destroy our bodies to save our souls, and for some reason, that makes perfect sense.” –Bonnie D. Stroir
I did find derby in a transitional period, and it transformed my life. Now, I am jumping 360’s instead of simply standing still.