I talked nervously, my armpits were dripping like a tap. I arrived. I had a few drops of Rescue Remedy, I drank a lot of water. I said hello to a few familiar faces, I filled out my member form, I strapped on my boots and pads, I put my mouthguard in and strapped my helmet on. I remembered to breathe. I was running late. I had to go pee. Everyone was on track, ready, skating around, warming up. I grabbed my water and skated to the centre to hear what we were doing first… I skated, I’m back!
I have made a timid return to Roller Derby after 8+ months of anti-derby life.
Why? Because I am starting to put weight on in places I never noticed. Because it is the only sport (aside from horse riding) that my uncoordinated ass is good at. Because I miss skating. Because I miss being a badass, hitting, juking and yelling at my team “jammer in”, “hold”, “chase”, “bridge”. And because it makes me feel alive! I also had some gentle encouragement from Kitty Calamity, I want to play in a team with my friends again.
I have to tell you that I’ve decided not to return to the league I was with previously. I am trying out a different league with a whole lot of heart and values that truly speak to me.
I think it’s important if you’re returning to derby that you don’t return with the same mind set you left with and that you don’t return to exactly the same situation, nothing will have changed and you aren’t giving yourself a decent chance to truly start again. I’m not saying “don’t go back to the same league”, but I’m saying don’t go back to the same place you were in when you left. Make sure things are different within you and the league.
I actually tried starting derby again last October with this new league, but after one session I realised I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know if I ever would be ready… Then one day I was daydreaming whilst driving (please don’t try this at home) and I found myself reminiscing about derby and skating. For the first time since I left; I missed it. I don’t miss the drama etc… I never will and I vow never to invite that kind of mess into my life, but I feel different now, more comfortable in my skin… I’ve spent the past 6+ months meditating, reading, clearing my spiritual space and enjoying my life without a commitment to anything that didn’t make me feel good. I’m ready.
When I went back last Monday for this years sign on I was so nervous. I didn’t know everyone, they didn’t know me.
They were doing team selection and I didn’t know how I would hold up to the testing. I wasn’t expecting much and was just happy to get in the B team.
I was pleasantly surprised that despite my absence and time off skates I was able to skate 12 laps in 2 minutes and transition both directions. My thighs were screaming within the first 20 minutes and obviously my stamina was not really there; I really struggled throughout the scrimmage portion, I also found myself falling over so much, it was embarrassing. I tried my hardest though and I think it paid off.
A testament to the way my new league is run, is how I felt welcome straight away, they are vehemently against the usual issues that plague other leagues and this makes me feel safe. At the end of the day I think all I/anyone really wants is to be treated fairly.
I’m excited about training for the first time in I don’t even know how long, now that’s something!
– Cass xo-