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. :)