I tried out for roller derby on Sunday night.
Before I go into the details about how it went, what I did and saw and of course the outcome, I’d like to explain why I tried out in the first place. Because that’s the response I seemed to get the most: “But WHY?” and also “Won’t you…lose some teeth?”
I tried out for roller derby because I wanted to. Roller derby would fill a spot that seems a bit empty at the moment. Let me explain.
I love that I’m a wife, I love that I’m a mother and most of the time I love that I have a professional career. But beyond those things, I don’t really have any hobbies or interests. I read quite a bit. I write blogs. And that’s…about it. I want to have something to do that is only mine, something that sparks passion in me that adds to my sense of self independent of anyone else.
Under that heading, you could argue that I could take up crochet or jogging or a foreign language. I could reinvest myself in scrapbooking or Zumba.
But as girly as I may seem at times, as much as I enjoy wearing a skirt and some eyeliner, I also have a love of crushing skulls. I miss that release of physical aggression on the soccer field. I miss going up against another human being, your strength and training versus hers in a physical combat short of actual combat. While the strikers and midfielders tended to have more finesse, I liked playing defense because I liked being the Wall, the brute strength to stop the onslaught of the other team. I loved the feeling of colliding with another player and when it was done, I was still standing with the ball at my feet and she was sprawled on the grass. I would love to have another outlet where I can feel strong and fit, where I can belong to a team of girls who train together and fight together and win together and lose together.
So why not just go play soccer again? Other than the feeling of “but I’ve already done that,” there is one more thing. As some of you may know, I have a certain predisposition for the dramatics. And that’s something that Derby also fulfills.
In Derby, you take on an alter ego. You go by your stage name entirely – even at practices. You dress up in costumes serving as uniforms. A certain amount of the fun of the sport is playing up the persona – being cute and sexy but also unexpectedly brutal. It's a sport but it's also a show, and I love the idea.
That’s the Why. Up next is the How.