Our longtime Atlanta derby fans may remember me from times past. It was a wilder time, a time of penalty wheels, tutus, and dance offs. I’ve been a part of the Atlanta Rollergirls since the very beginning in early 2005, and I’ve seen tons of changes – most notably, the development of roller derby from a show of spectacle into a game of speed, endurance, and agility. I retired in 2009, and joined the rec league when it was formed in 2012. After watching my derby heroes skate in the WFTDA Championships here in ATL this November, a fire was lit.
My decision to come back was fast, as are most of my life decisions. I asked Pearl Reckless, another retiree making her comeback, what the notification deadline was for un-retirement. I only had a week to decide, so I listened to my heart. It was saying, “Hey girl. Roller derby is the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Get your sweet ass back on the track.” (Pretend Ryan Gosling’s saying that, and you’ll understand why I listened.)
I didn’t exactly stay in peak shape during my three year off-season, so it’s been a rough road getting back into playing form. Here’s a little taste of what it’s been like….
Expectation: Making it to 8 hours of practice a week and totally PWNing it.
Reality: Spent the entire month of January sick, mostly because rollergirls are gross, and I hadn’t been exposed to that many germs in a long time.
Expectation: Easily learning all the changes in the game from the past 3 years.
Reality: I still don’t know how scrum starts work.
Expectation: Taking hits like a champ.
Reality: Forgot how to fall and got a concussion from faceplanting on concrete.
Expectation: Feeling as invincible as I did when I started skating at age 25.
Reality: It’s no longer acceptable to NOT take Advil after practice. I’m old.
Expectation: Things getting easier after the first month or so of practice.
Reality: I got better at some stuff, but it never got any easier. I think it’s only getting harder.
Expectation: Cross training LIKE A BOSS to prevent injury.
Reality: Knee sprain that causes excruciating pain when I fall.
Expectation: Getting rostered for our first game.
Reality: Sidelined due to injury.
Expectation: Being on a team of awesome supportive women.
Reality: Blown away by the awesome supportive women on my team.