Someone asked me the other day, in a humorous way, how roller derby has changed my life. I couldn’t think of a good way to put it into words, other than to say it has made me happier. It could be that turning 30 has mellowed me but I think it’s more than that. I just don’t feel as stressed out as I did last year. I know I started a new job, but I’m still not exactly thrilled with it and I’m still not really getting anywhere career-wise, but it’s not making me as down as it once did. I think part of it is that I just don’t have the time to dwell any more. I skate four hours a week officially and sometimes another two hours with Max or a derby friend (and there’s the commute to add to that when the frickin Victoria Line isn’t running to Brixton). There’s social events after practice and bouts to go to and extra bootcamps and really I feel like I don’t have enough time in a week and the days just fly by. Where in that can I fit in time to mope about the state of my life?
I’ve missed two practices this week and I can already tell a difference with my mood. Even though I missed skating to do lovely things and see friends, it’s not the same. I’ve had too much time on my hands. I haven’t burned off my moping energy, so I’m thinking about the state of my life again and I don’t like it. I am itching to put on skates or go for a run, anything to take my mind elsewhere. And since my feet feel like they may, finally, be getting their shit together, I’m really considering putting on my running shoes. Just to see. I am sure I will mess them up again and undo all the good my podiatrist has done, but who cares? It’s worth a try. Remind me I said that when the pain returns.
Also, even though it is hard work and I do moan about the battering my feet are taking from my skates, I’m loving the physical aspect of it. I have never been remotely sporty, and team sports especially were something I avoided. I was never good at anything and at my school if you made a mistake you were made fun of so it was easier just not to play. Derby is different. These women are fantastic, and patient, and although it’s not without its drama at times, mostly they are encouraging and friendly and want you to do well. I love too that I can see my body changing, that I am getting fitter and stronger and it’s making me want to push myself harder to be in even better shape.
Answering how it’s changed my life isn’t easy, I think it’s probably fairer to say it’s taken over my life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.