I was writing a late night email to a friend of mine... a sort of picturebook update of things that had been happening in my little world lately, you know, pictures of my kid, a dinner I cooked, etc... each with a little story to go along (and course some useless ramblings thrown in for good measure... hey, that's what 'pen-pals' are for right?!) Upon reviewing what I had sent him again this morning... Perhaps just to check and see how much of it was even coherent or interpretable, since it was around 2am I was typed from my phone with one thumb, half asleep with probably only one eye open. It occurred to me that a portion of it might be worth sharing, photos and all! And so... here is an exact snippet from said email, but FIRST, a little backstory: I'm Randi. Also known as Randioactive... which also gets shortened to, well,... Randi. :) I'm an Aries. I like red wine, dark chocolate, Autumn, long walks in the evening, laughing until the sun comes up.... *fluttering eyelashes* oh you know... rambling on and on in my writings, simply because there isn't anyone there to interrupt or distract me ..... Annnnnd.... ROLLER DERBY. Corny personals ad portion aside... I'm very serious about that last part. Last month marked my 3 yr anniversary in derby (my derbyversary!), and this is the start of my 4th season here as a Poison Pixie with SRD. I came to this group, having no background or knowledge of the sport, NO athletic history whatsoever, and little to no skating ability to speak of. I came to the first recruitment event ever held (back when Newington Roller Skate still existed, RIP); to meet with some smiling faces, a few who recognized my from my work as a body piercer, and a room full of shakey, inexperienced hopefuls who had a dream of starting their very own roller derby league... and a strong few who were determined to see it through. This is of course the part where I could get all misty-eyed, and lead you hand-in-hand down memory lane; recounting the struggles, the turning points, the skaters come and gone, the whole damned history of this rag-tag bunch... trials and tribulations of life, love, and the pursuit of derby, and what it has all meant to me..... But I'll spare you all of that! ;) (You lucky reader, you!) I'll simply cut out a few years and skip right to the end of last season.... Feeling the stress and strain of devoting a great deal of (now fleeting) personal time to a hobby that just somehow wasn't as captivating as it had been in the years prior. Facing a great deal of personal, professional, and financial struggles as a small business owner. The typical struggles of a person turning 30, maintaining relationships with family, friends, and your own sanity; raising a toddler, and searching for your own identity or sense of comfort in the rubble of it all... I had simply lost my passion for it. I felt stale. Uninspired, and bored. I thought the only way I could remedy this would be to move on to a different group. Surround myself with fresh new faces, new structure training and drills, skaters that were years and years beyond my skill levels. However.... this would also mean... driving alot further, devoting even more of my time and fragile spare funds. Being immersed in a much larger group of primarily strangers, and likely still struggling to find my foothold. I weighed each situation, I contemplated, debated amongst friends and loved ones... and ultimately, had no idea what to do with myself. I officially left SRD in search of something new. Through the winter I took off from derby all together. As someone trying to 'find yourself' again... letting go of your most cherished hobby, something that brought more joy, passion, and enlightenment than anything else ever had... was certainly NOT the way to go! LOL... well... some of us are stubborn and learn the hard way! After a long cold winter of soul searching, I came back to SRD. Back to the people I know and love, back to where this whole thing began for me. Sometimes it really does come down to taking a step back from the situation before you're able to see it clearer. So in this email, when I mentioned thinking about leaving SRD... that's basically what that was about. And this excerpt and photos are what my week was about... And the joy of rediscovery, and noting that sometimes, the most precious things, are the ones that were right here all along, is I think what this ALL is really about. :-D
My butt has gotten pretty tough from derby, I've wisely and intuitively adapted the "pick a cheek" theory into muscle memory to save further tailbone injury. And it's been quite a long time since I've experienced any notable "skate-rape" scenarios (skaters KNOW what I'm talking about! ;)). .... But this... This was just a stupid fall gone wrong (as they sometimes do) and I landed hard onto my own wheel. It took the breath right out of me Everyone kept checking if I was ok, and despite struggling to get air and simultaneously swallowing my stomach down from the roof of my mouth... I knew I was fine. But the few extra seconds it took me to roll over, find the floor, find my feet, and re-learn how to stand on them again had explained enough on my behalf... Pain. That happened on Thursday, and I think it was also a factor in not wanting to run, or do much of anything, fri night. It was a rough practice and I was feeling kind of battered.
Which I guess segways nicely into this next one... How I came home from the rink tonight. Yup, that's a mass of hot pink duct tape around my thumb, and reason why thumb/iPhone typing is difficult or impared. Stupid. Stupid silly things... Not nearly as badass as going full out scrimmaging, bashing each other around with all our might, and me taking a hit while skating backwards to land jamming a wheel into my pelvis. Nope. This was Sunday Funday!... Playing our version of a 'sharks and minnows' type tag game we call Zombie Tag. I nearly plowed straight into the girl trying to tag me, giggling and panicking I stuck my hands out to soften the blow of our impact... And caught my thumbnail on some part of her gear, wrist or elbow pad, bending it backwards. I'm still not entirely sure the extent of damage, even though it's quite sore now, I bet it looks fine. You honestly might not even able to tell... But it hurts like a mofo, and more than pain it was also the 'phobia-factor' that set in. Laughing, apologizing, and trying to move on into the next game still wasn't enough to squeak by my girls noticing that I was clutching my thumb, refusing to let go of it, look at it, or look anyone in the eye while saying "I'm fine! It's ok!" Simply avoid reality!! It's funny to me now that I was fighting and so determined at the end of last season to move on to different crew... And while I know going through with it could have brought certain advantages... I know I'm in a good place here, and there's just something about the whole scenario... -One of the girls refusing my denial for help, rushing for the first aid kit, and so lovingly but sternly stepping in to take over; bandage it and do everything out of sight while so reassuring.. And knowing to still keep checking on me later. Trying to laugh and shoo it away just saying 'it's ok, it's just a nail, I'm gonna make it!' But my teammates stepping in and explaining to our newer girls.. Uh oh.. Keep an eye on her!! She has a 'nail thing!' Sure she's a piercer and can stab people with needles all day, but anything to do with fingernails and she'll drop! Hahah and here I was, thinking, compared to a similar incident that happened to me last year when I had to immediately leave a drill, skating off the track mid-jam to bee line for the bathroom and throw up.. Just praying I don't pass out on the way! Haha I thought I was pretty composed tonight! And then I hear Ginan Toxxic say, "honey, I still think you need a minute you look pretty pale." And Toy Named Sue follow it with "yes you do. And paler than what's normal even for YOU!" It's thing like this... Simple gestures and familiarity that somehow just serve to remind me ... I'm Home. I'm right where I need to be. They don't just pretend to care, they KNOW me. This is family. :) Despite the pain, and that I still won't take the tape off til tomorrow (maybe)... It's a pretty good feeling.