“Roller Derby Saved My Soul”

If you have been around derby conventions, bouts or any function you have probably seen this saying somewhere: t-shirts, stickers, etc. I have thought about this saying, does it mean through the athleticism that it takes to be a derby player? I have had other players tell me how they love being a part of a team again like when they were younger, maybe this is what it means? I’ve thought about the days that work or life was tough and you gear up get on the rink and coach says “tonight we are doing hitting drills”; by the end of practice your bad day is gone. Or the day you gear up with a thousand things on your mind and don’t want to be at practice but as you start to skate laps your concentrate on your breathing and your crossovers. Suddenly those thousand things are gone. Maybe this is what it means?

QC joy action 2013Tonight I sit and write this after driving 20 hours or 1200 miles. This statement “Roller Derby saved my soul” was in the front of my mind the whole time. Let me explain, my 14 year old daughter decided only 45 days ago to move to Florida to live with her dad. My non-derby friends have challenged this quick decision but my family and derby league mates were supportive. Even though this was not my choice and was extremely tough for me; understanding much worse things could happen; my family (both blood and derby) knew I just needed support. While I was in Florida I reached out to the Orlando Revolution, strapped on my skates and was able to forget for 2 hours why I had visited Florida. They welcomed me as their own. I do not know any other sport that this happens!

In the last 45 days my league mates that have just reached out to me with a simple thinking of you text, email or Facebook message has been overwhelming. I am a rookie, who often feels I am still working my way into the Derby World, but after this week I understand how “roller derby saved my soul”. It’s the family that you become a part of. I would have to change the saying a little bit; “my roller derby family saved my soul” because if it wasn’t for their support, love, and encouragement both on and off the track I’m not sure I would have made it though one of the toughest times of my life. For this I am eternally grateful and saved.

~ Joyride