Last night was my last bout as a San Diego Derby Doll. Not sure if/when I'll ever play the game again, last time I "retired" it turned out to be temporary.
Anyways, whether I'm gonna pull a Jay Z and come back every time I retire or not, feels like a good time to impart some wisdom, so here's some of my favorite observations over the years:
1) Most seem to find roller derby in transitional periods. It's weird and wild and seems like everyone who ever needed to step out of their comfort zone (or never knew how to live in one to begin with) found this controlled chaos at just the right time. We ruin our bodies to save our souls, and for some reason that makes perfect sense.
2) There's much more heartbreak here than anyone ever expects. Many start out excited about the prospect of a good time, and flee the scene the first time they get their heart broken. Or the second time. Or, if you're especially masochistic like me, after 10 full years. But, if you have end goals to strive for and can keep your smile throughout, there's good reasons to power through all that. Especially if your goals are intangible things like self-confidence, leadership skills, and physical prowess. Stay until you get what you came for.
3) There's a huge misunderstanding of power in our culture. I'm the type of alpha that enjoys the company of other alphas. As many as I can get around. I love powerful people. But a lot of totally insecure alphas think the only way to be HBIC is to "shank the biggest kid on the playground." (One skater actually told me her mom taught her that... Guh...)
A real alpha knows that their personal power is not diminished by the presence of other alphas. It's increased. But you can't benefit from that which you shank... So... There's that.
4) There's two stories playing out simultaneously at all times in derby: a total shit show, and the most inspiring story ever told. It's a lot of people who don't honestly know what we're doing, all trying to figure this out as we go along. So it's just as much shit show as it is inspirational-tale-that-we'll-all-brag-about-when-we're-old. (That's the inherent beauty/chaos of creation.) Which side you choose to focus on will determine the quality of your experience.
5) This is a very temporary experience. Even if you manage to stretch it out for 10 years... It goes by in a blink. Get everything you can out of it and treat everyone exactly as you want to be remembered. Because for many... This will be the most exciting thing we ever experience in our lives.
And lastly... I'd like to share some quotes that I've always tried to live by, from a woman well worth admiring (if you don't already). And you can decide if this a post about just derby or applies to everything else in life as well... xoxo