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About that Roller Derby Thing

I’m sad to tell you that I’ve left the Jerzey Derby Brigade. There’s no need to get into details. I’ve spoken to the people I needed to speak to, thought about things a lot, and it basically came down to — am I having fun anymore? The truth is I was having fun, but other, more negative things were outweighing the fun. And when it’s just really a hobby, what is the point of staying?

I feel like I’ve broken up with all my relationships at the same time. My heart hurts and I feel everyone is going on without me — which they are, and they should. I wish the team nothing but the best, and I hope some things get straightened out and I hope the good things keep going. I am super-proud of all the fresh meat I’ve watched and help progress. I hope they don’t forget about me. I won’t forget about them.

My JDB sisters will always be my sisters. Right now I need a break from the stress and everything that comes along with it. My biggest fear is that when I am ready to skate again, I will have nowhere to go. I haven’t taken a leave of absence — I’ve left and unless some big changes happen (both there and in my head), I will stay gone.

So I guess for now, I am a retired skater. The truth is, folks, I never was that great of a skater. I was okay, and without this crippling depression and wonky kneecap I could have been much better. But as my friend Jon told me the other day, “You have nothing to be ashamed of — you did what you set out to do and maybe it’s time to find something new.” Right now I’m still healing and just hoping that my JDB sisters don’t think less of me. I don’t really know what they were told about my leaving or if they were told anything. It’s okay. I am always here to talk to them and anyone. I did leave with some disappointment, but that was more personal than team-related.

I worked hard, tried to do right by my team, and I hope they appreciated it as much as I appreciated them. They welcomed me with open arms when I came to them two years ago. I hope they continue to do the same for others.

I had to put all my gear in the garage because I can’t look at it without crying. I know that will pass with time and perhaps I’ll be ready in time to drop in on another team’s practice and see if this is something I want to continue doing. In the meantime, I still have my memories and my jacked-up knees. Not many people my age can say they wanted to play roller derby and then went ahead and did it. So I do have something to be proud of. Maybe it’s over…maybe it’s not. :)

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  1. Even though I know the decision broke your heart, I applaud you for putting yourself and your healing first.

    Your statement – “Right now I need a break from the stress and everything that comes along with it” means that you are treating yourself like you would treat a derby sister.

    And you are right – you set yourself a big challenge and you did what you set out to do. Now, on to new adventures that support you, rather than drain you.

  2. Props! You know my motto “If it ain’t fixed… break it!” Can’t wait to see where your next adventure takes us!

  3. and Janet- technically… i’m right. Normally I wouldn’t point it out but it happens so rarely that I felt like I needed to say it! FG. Everyone has to retire sometime. You are coming out of this a champion!

  4. Ditto on what Janet said. You have nothing to feel bad about or hang your head about. It did seem like it had gotten to the point that there was more bad than good, especially when it came to what it was doing to your body. On to the next adventure!

  5. Did anyone think any less of Mary Tyler Moore when she decided it was time to leave her show? Or Katie Couric leaving Today? It’s time for a new adventure, and to take time for yourself. Hang in there! PS. I used TV references since I know you would relate, since I was a big fan of TMFT. Good thing you left when roller derby ‘jumped the shark’ for you!

  6. First: I love Bob!

    Second: Hugs to you! You did what you set out to do (*applause*), and now it’s time for the next adventure.

    Third: Hope you are feeling (physically) better and better.

    Fourth: Love you!

  7. Agree with all of the wonderful insights above. This resonates with me because after investing thousands of dollars in Yoga Teacher Training, I taught only two years–not even enough to make back the cost of training–and realized it was more stress than fun. When I came very close to throwing a brick through the studio’s front window, I had an awakening that maybe I need to just QUIT. And this was hard to accept, because we were all raised with so many slogans about quitters being losers. Plus many students/friends/my Mom told me I was letting them down. But I had to dispute that with myself and realize quitting was a decision I could ultimately forgive myself for, because I knew in my heart I was happier for giving up teaching.
    You’ve given me many good times and good memories of being at your bouts and I will always remember that you opened this world to me that I would never have known about otherwise. You do stay in my memory as a fierce skater. <3 love you also

  8. I’m sorry people told you that you were letting them down. That was pretty shitty of them.

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