Roller Derby for Real Love


There was a moment of inspiration as I laced up my skates for the first time–something clicked and it was like the entire universe had aligned for an instant.

That’s what it’s felt like for the first few weeks as I slowly maneuver my way around the intricate sport of Roller Derby. There is a lot to learn, and it’s not all about being the best.

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a competitive edge, rewind to my 10-year-old self flipping over a card table because I lost at Monopoly. Note to self: Learn how to lose.

As I get older, I realize it’s okay to not be the best at everything. Sometimes you’re not going to get everything or win everything in life. That’s just the way it is.

Ever since I saw my first bout and watched Whip It I’ve wanted to do Roller Derby. I have zero skate experience, but I decided to give it a try when try-outs came up for the Dupage Derby Dames. And I haven’t regretted one moment of the choice yet.

This will be my second week of try outs and as grueling as it is; I’ve loved every second on the rink. There have been moments where the Derby girls have asked us (The Fresh Meat) to do something, and I look at them in amusement.

Is she serious right now? She wants me to do what? She wants me to jump over these cones and do a 360 degree spin. Not happening.

But this strange thing happens with my body, and it’s like my instinct to win kicks in. I try the stuff they ask me to and even if I fall I get up. I try again. Life isn’t over just because I didn’t get it the first time. IF anything it’s a challenge that I just have to face the next time.

The wonderful thing about Roller Derby is the realization that the more work you put into it, the more reward you will get out of it. So next time you hear yourself saying: “I can’t do it.” Remember that’s just your brain trying to trick you because if you try hard enough you CAN do it!

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