This is the third part in my series about retiring from roller derby. I want to say now, that this is going to make some of you upset. And for that, I apologize. Just realize I mean nothing personal by this, and it’s just the way I felt/feel. I know I took some things too personally, and none of this was intentional. Regardless, feelings are feelings. They are neither correct nor incorrect. They just are.
For anywhere between months to years you spend a minimum of two hours a night, three nights a week with a group of your friends. Friends that in time you learn to call sisters. You skate together. You work together. At the end of the day you come home, get on the boards, and you talk to each other. You are surrounded by an amazing and supportive community. And then, you announce you’re taking a bit of a break.
All of a sudden, you’re on your own. Sure, for the first week or two you still hear from people. But as you’re around less and less that starts to fizzle out.First the texts and private messages stop. Then you stop hearing from them on social media. The next thing you know you’re at a bout and no one comes by to say “hi.” And when you make eye contact they quickly look away.
There are always the teammates that will have your back no matter what. They will support you in whatever you do. And for those teammates, I am forever grateful. But I know that for me personally that’s maybe, maybe, 10 skaters out of a league of over 60.
It’s a jarring and isolating experience. You feel invisible. Like without eight wheels strapped to your feet you don’t exist.