Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cindy Lop-her is Not a Quitter

I’ve quit smoking, binge eating, and that horrible sex addiction (wink!), but the one thing I cannot quit is roller derby. I REFUSE.

Since Saturday night, I’ve been asked some of the same questions over and over again: “What happened?” “Does it hurt?” “How long until you can skate again?” And my least favorite of all: “Why don’t you just quit already?”

Why don’t I quit? Really? Why should I? Because I injured myself? Because it hurts? Because there’s absolutely no way in hell I can come back from the injury? Because I’m not really a great derby player, and well, what’s the point anyhow? Because I’m fat? Because you don’t like seeing my ass in gold lame booty shorts? Because when faced with adversity quitting is what one should do?

I’m shocked the most by my coworkers who have asked me this question. I’m their “go to” girl. I’m the one who gets things done even when those things seem impossible. I can polish a turd. I can do the unbelievable, and what contributes to my success in the workplace is the same thing that contributes to my success in derby – I’m tenacious and I refuse to give up, and when I believe I can do something, I usually wind up being able to do it. Why would my coworkers want to contribute to my thinking any other way?

Perhaps I don’t share the same attitude as others. This is my 4th major injury in just over 3 years. Maybe I’m crazy. But there’s got to be some reason I’m still playing derby, right?

I’m not naturally good at derby – I’ve told you all this before. There’s been other things in my life I’m not naturally good at either. Dancing is one of them. J and I always laugh at the “So You Think You Can Dance” commercials on TV. In fact, we talk back to the television: “No, we cannot dance!” As a kid, I wanted to dance badly. I had my mom enroll me in ballet, tap, and jazz. I was horrible. I’ve been just about as tall as I am now (5’1”) since the 4th grade, which means I was the biggest kid then. I lumbered around the dance floor. I was uncoordinated, yet I didn’t know I was uncoordinated until I was forced to spend 2 hours a week in a dance studio covered with mirrors. I sucked. Things were fun before I knew how horrible I looked when I danced (even though I loved dancing itself). I wound up quitting as soon as our 1st recital was over. Yeah, I was 9 years old at the time, but I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to get any better, and I knew I looked ridiculous, so I quit.

Over the past 20 years I learned to laugh in the face of adversity. Okay, maybe not “laugh,” maybe I just came up with a good Poker Face that hid the fact that I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I learned that some things take time and some things are worth doing, even if you’re not the best or a natural at them. So, I guess I learned to do what I want, and I’m exercising that option now. I will not quit roller derby.

One injury a year, even if it’s major, has nothing on the benefits I get daily from being involved in roller derby. From the physical benefits, such as great physical health, to the mental benefits, such as learning to work well with others and accomplishing goals I’d never dream I would be accomplishing, I’d take 2 major injuries a year and still be one happy rollergirl. It’s an injury, it does hurt, I will be out for a bit, and it does suck, but, there’s no way in hell that I’m quitting. And when I come back, you can expect to see me do a little dance (a horrible looking little dance) of joy, because even though my body’s no longer perfect (when was it ever?), I’m using it to do what I want on my own terms, and that’s cause for celebration!


Hooligal said...

You can polish a turd? I'll keep that in mind LOL ;)
I'm a bit like that with singing, I love to sing, but other people dont much liek to hear it.

People just dont seem to understand the addictiveness of roller makes all the injuries worth while

Anonymous said...

If you don't get hurt, you're not doing it right.

Holly said...

I must be doing one hell of a job then betty ;)

Kristin said...

Fuck, you're an inspiration this morning, as I sit here with my good knee torn, trying to talk myself out of skating until I can get it fixed, wondering what I'm going to do if I can't skate anymore :) I will behave myself, following the good example you're setting. Will you hold my hand when I can't participate in the Annual Meeting scrimmage for the second year in a row? *sob*

steak knife said...

word. you are an inspiration, esp. to me. when i derby dream and think about getting my shit together i see you and i dominating the front of the pack!!!