A little over a year ago I embarked on a journey and joined the world of roller derby. Growing up as a girl who went roller skating almost every weekend, I knew roller derby would be the sport for me. Boy, was I wrong! It was a period of pure hell. I found out just how bad shin splints and leg cramps can hurt. I cried after almost every practice and thought about quitting more than once.
But then something changed. Little by little, the pain lessened. I was able to focus on learning new skills rather than focus on wondering what I had gotten myself into. My endurance, and my confidence, soared.
I was part of a team that welcomed all walks of life. It didn't matter if you were 19 years old or 40 years old. We had sexual assault counselors, parole officers, fast food servers, and everything in between.
Being that I was a referee, I wasn't allowed to interact with the team on bout day. I had to remain bias, after all. But once it was all said and done, I was always given thanks by both teams for my part.
As much as I'm glad for the time spent as a roller derby referee, I've made the executive decision to turn in my stripes. I think I'm okay with that decision. It has nothing to do with the team itself. But my plate is full right now.
In the middle of December I took a Leave of Absence from roller derby. My plan was to return in the beginning of February. My plans changed.
I went on LOA to take care of my ill mother who is now living with me. Although she is doing better, she is still very weak and requires a lot of care. I can't be totally committed to roller derby right now. It requires a lot of on and off skate practice times with added PR and league meetings. There's a minimum requirement each month and I'm not so sure I can meet those requirements. That, and honestly, I'm afraid that I'm going to be back at square one with the physical pain since it's been almost a month since I've been to practice.
I'm going to break the news to my brother later today. I'm a little shaky about that one. He's the team coach and I don't want to disappoint him. But I've got to do what's right for me. I plan on still supporting the team and going to bouts. After all, this will be my daughter's first full season of playtime. She joined in April and is a born natural.
Joining roller derby has been a great stepping stone for me and I've learned what my mind and body are capable of. But now it's time to move on and move forward.