Monday, May 23, 2011

Roller Derby and Cheese

Way back in 2001, I was an Americorps member, working at a food bank in Washington state. Our CEO had a copy of "Who Moved My Cheese" that we each took turns reading. A decade later, I have started training for the roller derby, based on a quote from that book. That quote is: "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" Well, my answer is roller derby. I'll be honest. I'm not just afraid of roller derby. I'm terrified of it. I'm not an exceptionally large, strong or stout woman. Nor am I very coordinated. Nor do I have health insurance. But I am competitive as hell and when I was a kid, roller skating was my favorite thing in the world.

Saturday night, we went to watch the Denver Roller Dolls, something I had wanted to do for a very long time, but hadn't gotten around to doing. And I was hooked. The sparkly helmets, the shiny hot pants, the clever names. So yesterday, the first order of business was to buy a pair of roller derby skates. The second was to relearn to skate. It's been 20 years since I was on a pair of roller skates and somehow I've developed a fear I never had as a child. But I skated. And today I skated some more. And it was less scary. I still can't stop without running into something solid, but I'm sure I'll get there. Then come trails and skate parks and the youtube derby drills. But first, stopping. And I have to figure out how to disconnect falling from failure in my brain. I think if I could let myself fall once or twice I might actually become a better skater. There are a lot of deep, meaningful life lessons somewhere in here.