I started my second season of roller derby on Sunday. I know that I'd meant to write more about it during last season but like anything you love this much, you want to protect it. To foster it and keep it safe from the rest of the world, while simultaneously wanting to shout from mountain tops about your love for it. Yet no words could ever come close to the actual reality.
That, my friends, is how much I love roller derby.
As someone who has always felt weak in my personal life, being able to put on some skates (and knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet and the dreaded mouth guard), to get out there and have the chance to be strong and to be aggressive... The feeling is indescribable. I can't count the number of ways that derby has changed me.
I've never been athletic, to put it mildly. I'm a "lay down and read a book" person. Oh, the lengths I went to in order to evade my dreaded nemesis: sweat. I have sweat so much during practice that I've had rivulets rolling down my butt crack, y'all. And I didn't mind! I've worked out so hard that I had to swallow down puke. I've strained *parts* that I didn't even know were possible to strain. I've been bruised, bloody, aching, muscles shaking, parched, thinking that I couldn't possibly continue on... but I've kept going. I've given it one more lap, one more plank, one more drill, more, more, more. A hard way to find out that you're a fighter, but a lesson well learned.
I've always been self-conscious of my "thunder thighs", my "mothering hips", my broad shoulders, thought I had too much booty. I've referred to my body type as "chunky hourglass", I've abused it, have taken it for granted, have not cared about it as I should. But you know what? My thighs are strong for skating. My hips and ass are perfect for blocking and for pushing other bitches out of my way. My shoulders can carry a lot of weight both literally and figuratively. How is it that I made it to the age of 31 and am only now figuring out that I can be positive about my body and not only just accept it, but celebrate it?
This body is a temple now. I feed it right, I stretch it, I exercise more than just my brain and my mouth, I take what could be considered a meal of vitamins every day to make sure that my bones are strong for when they impact with the concrete floors that I skate on. Heck, I'm even ex-foliating and moisturizing more often! This body is going to last me for the rest of my life, God-willing, and it's going to be involved in roller derby for as long as it can keep up.
So you can maybe begin to understand now, how good I feel and how I want to just keep that to myself for a while before I let other people in?
That's all, (but there's so much more)