Monday, April 6, 2009

The Real Life of a Rollergirl

Often times I think to myself: Why are my dishes always dirty? Why do I feel like I really have to plan to run errands? Why haven’t I talked to my non-derby friends in over two months?

This weekend I left my house, not to go to practice (like I did Friday morning when I was supposed to be driving to work), but to go hang out with some of my oldest friends who I feel like I haven’t seen in forever. I heard the same statement and the same question from everyone I saw: “Where have you been?” and “Holy crap, you look good”.

Now, I didn’t include number 2 to toot my own horn, but I’m in good shape because I’m doing derby ALL THE TIME. Actually, that’s untrue. Part of why I haven’t written in over a week is because I haven’t been following my “attend every practice” guideline I set for myself and proclaimed on here, and I feel guilty. I’m not even attending derby all the time, but for the love of all things holy (my tights) it certainly feels like it!

The truth is that the life of a rollergirl is hard – really hard. You wake up in the morning, hair a mess from the after-practice shower that was had immediately before bed the night before. A survey of new bruises gives rise to the panic of how you will fix your hair, because you just remembered you have a meeting today and need to arrive early to strategize with your boss. Fuck.

Get ready, take out the dog, take out the trash, take two seconds to think about what time and where practice is tonight and what that means; if it’s early, pack the skates, a change of clothes, and something hardy to eat for a late lunch so you have energy for practice. If it’s late, pack a light lunch and an apple – you’ll eat a more hardy meal if and when you can get home from work on time, so you’ll have enough energy for practice. Crap. It’s an early night. Is anyone getting home to let out the dog after work? If not, plan to leave work early to do so and take work home.

Dog’s in, food’s packed, you know what today’s agenda looks like. Drive to work (if you’re lucky and your tired brain doesn’t take you to Skateland instead). Arrive late. Get posters for the next bout from trunk to hang around town on your lunch break. Need coffee. Get coffee. Coffee don’t help. Some weird muscle hurts. Ouch.

Meet with boss, sound like you know what you’re talking about, head to board room to meet with client and introduce yourself to them as “Cindy” or whatever your derby name is, because it’s Monday and you’ve been that person all weekend. You explain briefly your double life. “Like wrestling?” they ask. “Yeah, kinda,” you say to get them off your back and on to the task at hand.

Meeting over. Do some work. Unable to practice self-restraint, you check your personal email several hours into the work day and derby shit has hit the fan – if you’re lucky, only one thing has gone or is going wrong. If you’re not lucky, you consider using your letter opener to slit your wrists but then remember that if you did that you wouldn’t be able to bring those booty shorts from the bulk order for that new girl on your team tonight. Fuck.

Email, work, email, work, email, work. You miss lunch – will have to hang posters tomorrow. Work some more. Want chocolate. Have discussion in your head about if you should eat that this close to practice and if you do what that will mean. In your head you argue sugar-rush over heartburn, give in, but heartburn winds up winning anyhow – a prerequisite to the mouth pukes. Great.

End of the day, you’re running late to get home and let the dog out before practice. “Got a minute?” asks your boss. “No!” you blurt out, quickly recanting your emphatic answer. Finally get out, taking with you your laptop and work you promise yourself you’ll do after practice. Race home, let out dog, watch dog eat grass to make himself puke, think dog has to be fucking with you at this point. Calculating how late you’re gonna be to practice and if you’ll get attendance points for the night. In your head, argue saying “fuck it” and not going. Feel guilty. Go.

Gas light on. Can make it to the rink and back – make decision to get gas before work tomorrow. Make it to practice. Forgot water. Buy water. Get on gear, stretch, kick ass, get my ass kicked, wring out hair, pass off booty shorts to new girl on your team, pack up, discuss having to move the fundraiser last-minute because someone forgot to get the permit. Tell someone to send you an email reminder tomorrow to do something of importance. Load the car, put on tunes, drive home.

Look in the fridge, don’t see anything of interest, close the door. Repeat fourteen times and then wind up sitting on the couch stinking like Fritos and eating peanut butter out of the jar. Mmmm, dinner. Crap! It’s bedtime already! You didn’t do any of the work you promised your boss that you would do! Let out the dog, go upstairs, take a shower (or risk being booted out of bed from smelling like an armpit), get into bed, set alarm. Sleep. Ahhh… Five hours later you wake up, late for work with bad hair from going to bed with a wet head and realize you aren’t going to make it to work early like you wanted, because you have to stop and get gas.


Sound like a lot? It is, and if you’re on your league’s all-star team, it’s even harder and the guilt for having to attend “life” outside derby is even worse.

We do this because we love it – I love it – but if derby is something you care about and you actually want to become a better player it’s a fast track to burning yourself out. I am a derby junkie and if you’re reading this, then you probably are one too.

Where have I been? Enjoying my hobby. Why do I look so good? Derby is all I do, which is unfortunate because when I retire I know I won’t look this good, so enjoy it ladies on my team – enjoy seeing my fit ass in tights and booty shorts more often than you see your significant other. I don’t know why I’m telling you, I know you already do. Maybe one day I’ll meet him or her and we can hang out outside derby, but we both know that’s all we’ll talk about anyhow.

Jaded? Dunno. Tired? Fo Sho. Shit…


PENALTYna said...

HA! A-Freakin-Men!!! we live identical lives... as i sit here laughing, shaking my head in agreement, hair, that of a mad woman & now, running late for work b/c i too am a junkie & i had to read ur whole blog!! HA!! Luv it!

Midlife Crashes said...

I thank my karma EVERY DAY that my fiance thinks sweaty is sexy. Other than that and the dog (RIP Rocco), you coulda been blogging for me.

It's no wonder I sleep 11-12 hours on Friday nights.

Big In Day-town said...

The wet head comment had me laughing and nodding like a bobber. Hell yeah! Now I've got all these crazy WFTDA duties on top of things, and becoming a woman with a serious "schedule." Thanks for continuing to put it in perspective, Cindy.