Today would have been my two year derbyversary. In celebration of my first derbyversary last year, I posted about the things derby had taught me. Things like appreciating my body and what it can do, spacial awareness, and the importance of taking care of yourself. Things that eventually led me to initially not skating last season, and my eventual decision to not play derby any more. But derby isn’t through teaching me things it seems. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the derby community, after I stopped playing as well.
- Teammates are Not Friends – Not necessarily at least. I’ve made some of my closest friends in derby, but the majority of my former teammates have dropped off to the “acquaintance” status. And that’s OK. I think this was hard for me because we always talk about the “sisterhood” of derby. About the “derby family.” But it’s not really a sisterhood or a family. It’s a group of people who do the same thing. When you stop doing that thing, you don’t have as much in common and you fade away. Like any other interest group.
- You’ll Still Be Ridiculously Busy – Claire and I joke that “we stopped playing derby because we didn’t have enough time, so we picked up another hobby that takes up all our time.” Derby attracts a certain type of personality. It has to, with all the committee work, practices, and travel. We are the type that likes to stay busy. Stopping skating won’t change that.
- You Can Buy Jeans Again – It took only a few months for my legs to start to shrink. A bummer because I was losing muscle. A bonus because I can wear cute skinny jeans now.
- Find a way to Stay Active – Finding a way to stay active without having a set schedule has been hard for me. You have to find what works best for you. I’ve enjoyed yoga (although on a brief hiatus because of all the house selling stuff). I can do it at home, on my time. Its relaxing and quiets my mind. Find that activity for you.
- We Really Do Talk About Derby Too Much – It became really clear after I stopped skating that we really do talk about derby too much. It’s all practice this, bruise that. But skaters need to remember the non-skaters in their lives as well. The ones that were there before, and will be there after derby as well.
- We Don’t Like Change – After retiring, I realized a few ways my league (and yes, I still consider them “my league”) could improve upon with retiring skaters. So I proposed changes. I don’t like to complain without suggested action, so I attempted to make a change. Responses were mostly along the lines of “things are fine” and “I won’t feel that way.” Which I hope is true. But whether it be helmets, jerseys, or policies. We don’t really like change.