Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Great Escape

  My kids are great, fantastic, enjoyable, quirky, funny, and all around fun to be around. I do, however, on occasion, need an escape. I began looking for something of my own to enjoy in the fall of last year. Friends offered mommy groups, book clubs, art circles, even jazzercise. Nothing sounded truly pleasurable to me. I needed something liberating, physically challenging, entertaining, and the participants needed to be a little edgy, sarcastic, weird, and not judgemental. Where would I find such an outlet?
   I stumbled upon roller derby almost by accident. What was even better, upon further investigation, I found a local amateur league recruiting. I had been a fair skater many moons back, so I thought, "Why the hell not?" My first recruitment night was enough. Listening to what the league was about, learning that the time constraint wasn't very rigorous, meeting the men and women involved, and watching a scrimmage, I was HOOKED. It had every element I had been searching for and more. I couldn't wait to get started.
  I spent a month on probation, learned the sport, went to practices, met amazing people with the biggest hearts I have ever come across, and started working on myself. My self esteem, confidence and general happiness began to soar. Taking a break from the kids was just the tiniest part of what I needed. The exercises work muscles I forgot I had for awhile there! Being on skates makes me feel a little like a kid again. My inner voices go "Wheeee!!!" every time I get on the rink. The derby clothes and culture inspire ANYONE to tap into their inner rock star. I could not sing the praises of derby enough. Even my kids saw the change in their mommy and happily talk derby and don skates.
  People often ask me about derby and it always seems that much of the focus is on the brutality of the sport. It kind of seems silly to me. I see plenty of guys playing football, rugby and soccer in the parks on the weekend and in their spare time. I wear more padding than they do and in all likelihood am at LESS of a risk for injury. Getting hurt is a risk in any sport. Especially ones with hitting involved. Athletes still play them. I may not consider myself much of an athlete, but the happiness this sport brings me makes me unafraid of the possible impairment or damage I may incur. Besides...who can't get behind a little push and shove on skates? Especially when fishnets and knee socks are involved.
   Just thank goodness the Dead Girl Derby was there for me. It has been my salvation and sanctuary and on many occasions, my therapist. Everyone involved is amazing and has touched my life in different ways. I plan to be a derby girl for life! So much for a rant all schmarmy there. THAT is the power of derby.
Photos are Copyright 2011 BlueRue Studio Photography.