Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Derby Body Image Survey

Hey, ladies of derby!

Kiddo from Arch Rival Roller Girls is collecting skater-imput regarding body image for an essay. You can help her out by filling out the survey here.

Here's an excerpt from my final answer to the survey:

"Secretly, I think people want to believe that fat can still be fit and they want a hero that's "imperfect" (like them), but it's rare to see normal people excelling at something in the spotlight, and derby does provide the venue for anyone to shine."

Monday, September 21, 2009

2009: Going out with a... Slow Hiss?

Well, it’s been a good long while since I’ve written last, and I’ve honestly been dreading coming back on here. Four days before Eastern Regionals I woke up in a shit-ton of pain, completely unable to move my head. I quickly found out it was a herniated disk and pinched nerve that would cause me to miss the trip to Carolina with my team. Oh yeah, and it was also my birthday. Happy birthday to me – injured again.

The neck injury didn’t necessarily come from derby. The docs say it could have been a long-time coming and virtually anything could have triggered it. I had been sailing the day before when a storm unexpectedly popped up. I’m a rather inexperienced sailor and was at the helm at the time. We went from 5 knots to 12 in two seconds, and everyone on the deck was thrown to one side of the boat, including me.

Set to be leaving for Carolina on Thursday, I didn’t tell my team about my neck until Tuesday night. Part of me had managed to hold out hope that my neck would miraculously correct itself and I’d wake up one day soon just fine, but after several days of being unable to look left and right before I crossed the street I realized that if I couldn’t turn my head, there was no way in hell I could play derby. Driving home from work, I called LQ crying. I begged her not to say anything to anyone else on the team, because in the teeny-tiny chance I woke up fine tomorrow, I didn’t want to be benched because my captains had heard about it. After several more hours of internal debate about what I could do and what I should do, and after about an hour hiding under the covers, I got up and emailed my team the news – I wouldn’t be joining them at Regionals. It may have been the single most difficult self-regulatory decision I’ve ever had to make as an adult.

Everything I’ve worked so hard to accomplish this year was just building up to this. My goal was to play in Regionals with my team, yet somehow knowing I would have played had I not been injured is not the same as actually playing. I took a tiny bit of comfort in my teammates’ well wishes and encouragements to “get better so you can play with us at Nationals!” Then on Sunday all of our dreams were smashed, as we lost to Boston and were rejected a trip to Nationals. Fuck.

It’s true that I’m heartbroken that we won’t be making it to Nationals – and not just for selfish reasons – but what’s worst of all is that I have this overwhelming feeling of having unfinished business. I’m not ready for our season to be over. I want more. I want to play more! I’m not the only one, I know.

This past Saturday was the 1st bout my mom has attended since my dad died, and it killed me not to skate. On Friday night I had 2 glasses of wine, and convinced I was invincible, I sent a text to both my captains and our bench coach telling them that I would be playing tomorrow. I had to rescind that offer early Saturday morning when reality again set in. They all want me to rest up for our championship bout, but I realized this morning after traction as I was laying in a dark room with a heating pad that smelled like a foot around my neck that the championship bout is 4 weeks away, and I can’t so much as think about getting back on skates for another 3 weeks. Double fuck. I haven’t told my team yet…

So, that’s it. Without fanfare, without a trip to Regionals or Nationals, and without being able to even finish out my home season, my 2009 season has ended. Done.

I know what I need to do is take inventory of how much actual progress I have made since January, but I just can’t right now. I think I need to have my little depressed fit, I need to cry, and I may even need to throw things (without twisting or making any motions that would compress my spine, of course). God, I hate being injured.

I’ll get over this soon, and then I’ll really be able to reflect on the progress I made this season. Stay tuned.