I always put my kneepads on first. Then my mouth guard, my elbow pads, my “Big Head Red” XXXXL helmet. (no, that’s not a typo. I have a big melon.)
I lace up my battered old skates with some seriously shredded laces and some sweet cupcake toe guards.
I tie on my cape and become a superhero.
It’s bout day. I skate for a team named FLASH, which stands for Fantastic League of Awesome SuperHeroes.
I am not a very good skater. I’m a bit slow, I am not horribly agile….but for a moment, once a month during the season, I put on a cape and skate shoulder to shoulder with titans.
Women who juggle jobs and kids and fiancés and girlfriends and whole lives outside of derby, and then suit up and kick ass all over the flat track.
And I get to be one of them.
Sure, I take off my skates and go home and have to deal with squabbling children or a messy house. But while I have my skates and my uniform on?
I am a celebrity, a rock star and invincible. (maybe not INVINCIBLE, but you get the gist.)
I almost quit this season. Life got to be too much and I lost faith in myself and my ability to keep up with my team and I slipped.
I stopped trying and lost sight of why I was doing this. Why I was skating. Why I put on the shorty shorts. Why I love roller derby.
It’s my team. They’re my family. I see them some weeks more than I see my fiancé. They know me cryin and broken on the floor, and they know skating brave and tall. They know how much roller derby terrifies me, and how I stand in the face of that anyway, because that’s how I roll. Literally.
I’ve been in a sorority (don’t laugh). I’ve been on numerous sports teams. I’ve been a part of a lot of things. None of them are quite like this. It’s like instantly growing 16 sisters who bicker and fight, yet support each other in ways that only family can. Unconditionally and without hesitation.
And that’s just one of the reasons I will be returning to roller derby as a skater next season.
A big thank you to charity:images and Kim Lincoln Photography for the derby shots <3