Recently I had the honor to watch the women of Midwest Maidens Roller Derby play from a sideline perspective. I loved seeing how strong our skaters have become, how confident they are in themselves on the track. To see the teamwork and camaraderie, the drive and ambition. It literally brought a tear to my eye.
This pipe dream that became reality because of these amazing women has been a journey like no other. Yes, sometimes I view myself like a “skate mother”….no fairy included 🙂 All these women coming together with passion for the same dream I had. Though I had to step away for sometime, to see them make it their own and carry on the dream is so glorious to see. I hope that no matter how long I have left to skate (bad knees), that I can always be a “skate mother” for the team because my heart is a MAIDEN FOR LIFE.I wanted to share some things I have learned from derby or the women in derby because it has made a huge impact on my life and I am forever grateful.
1. BIG doesn’t = unfit
I didn’t do a lot of things because I thought I was “too big”, “too fat”, “too….fill in the blank”. Well to heck with that! I am very active regardless of my size now and it has fluctuated up and down. I am healthier now I am sure, but you are never “too big” to get started at anything in life.2. Magic happens outside your comfort zone! This aligns with one of my all-time favorite quotes:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”― Frank Herbert, Dune3. Strong women build up other women! I have met strong, beautiful, amazing, kind and adventurous women in roller derby. Women from all walks of life, all body types, all professions and they have each individually added value to my life. We have all learned to work together on and off the track no matter our differences, and Lord knows we have differences….we are strong, opinionated women!
4. Derby family is unlike any family I have ever known. I have a great family, don’t get me wrong, but derby family is different. Derby family is strong and always there when you need something, on or off the track. If someone needs extra love, all they have to do is reach out and so many are ready to comfort and energize you.
5. You are your own worst critic. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Push for your best and be thankful of the encouragement you receive from your teammates. And don’t forget to be encouraging to others.
I am not a natural on skates, I am bigger than others, I am slower get new moves accomplished smoothly and I have beat myself up over it sometimes. I am so thankful for the encouragement I receive from others in those times! Last night was my first practice back after a long derby drought and I received an amazing compliment, ” I have missed your big derby butt, I still can’t get around it.” I might not still have all the moves, but some are like riding a bike 🙂
6. I don’t have much $, but I have time to give and many people with time to give means giving a lot more back to our community. I am a philanthropist at heart! Derby allows me to do something I love, with people I enjoy and give back more to the community, you can’t beat that 🙂 In 3 years we have given to; Habitat for Humanity, Brookings Humane Society, Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter, Brookings Arts Council, Brookings Boys and Girls Club…just to name a few
7. Age is just a number! I have played with women from 18-50 and we are all very happy to be competitive together!
8. If you aren’t winning, you are learning…..this is a new motto in life! Technically our team hasn’t won a bout yet, but they are getting closer and closer!
So there are 8 of my favorite points from 8 wheels! Check out your local roller derby.