Every time I see a meme that says something like “Strong women support each other” or “Strong women make other women feel better and do better” [and crap like that] I always think to myself “Hey, that’s how roller derby chicks are!”
Sure there are some petty moments, and some lame girl-hate moments as well, but those are not the roller derby norm. At least they’re not my roller derby norm. We set challenges, and push each other to strive until we meet the challenges. We don’t relent until the challenges are conquered, and then we set new ones to break down.
We push each other to be better, and we accept our heartbreaks when we crash.
“It’s not if you fall, it’s what you do after you fall. Because you will fall. And when you do, you need to *fall-small and get back up!”
I love who I’ve become since I started playing roller derby. As a kid, I was the cry-baby. The last picked. The bartered one because nobody wanted me on their team. Playing on a team sport only made me stand out in my personal failings. I hated team sports. More than I hated zucchini and liver.
But guess what… Today I love zucchini and liver. I’d eat liver everyday if I wasn’t on a no red meat thing. And as for team sports, well – they build me up. They make me a better person. They are the epitome to that collectiveness. The team spirit. The not letting your mates down. The pushing yourself until your muscles scream, your lungs run dry, and your heart is beating beyond your rib cage because to not do that is to let your team down. And you don’t do that. You just don’t let your team down.
So you give it your all. The reward is an entire team being there for you, not dropping you because they know you’ll be there for them.
It’s unbelievably awesome.
After starting the training and the bootcamp process over from scratch 3 times, I finally get to play real roller derby for the very first time this coming Saturday. I expect to poop myself silly all day with the many runs to the loo I shall make. But I can’t wait to get my skate on!
*fall-small is a roller derby term that means you keep your arms and legs tucked in so you don’t trip other skaters in your fall.