Better Living Through Denial

I love roller derby. So much. I love my league. They are family.
I hate lady drama. It scares me. I’m not a fan of mean girls. They intimidate me. I spent my entire life trying not to get noticed. If someone with a vagina is jealous of you, they will try to hurt you. If you really really really hurt my feelings, I won’t not cry. When I start crying, it takes at least twenty minutes before I can stop. If no one notices you, no one has a reason to hurt you.
Not everyone with a vagina who gets jealous will try to hurt you. Some ladies are all kinds of evolved and want to see all other ladies happy and successful. Your personal success belongs to all womankind. That is rare and badass. Some ladies are just really really really good inside. Kind souls. Hearts of gold. When you succeed, they are honored to be close to your awesome.
I can’t tell you how many times roller derby has reduced me to tears this year. I spent an entire Tuesday in October lying in bed, willing my tear ducts to break because I could not stop crying.
In my league I try to defend what I believe is right. I used to feel it was okay to defend what I believe is right, even if not everyone agrees with me. I don’t think that anymore. I don’t try to defend anything in my league anymore. I can’t even force myself to go to practice.
I know that it seems like I should quit. I’ve quit before and come back to skating. Roller derby feeds the beast inside me.
I can hyper focus on it like nothing else before or since. My attention isn’t as strong as it was in the beginning but I still remember that before roller derby my life might as well have been in black and white. Because no matter what the drama looks like, when I gear up to skate onto the track, there is no fucking feeling that comes close to describing how much more better everything is on skates. It’s not even a feeling. It’s a knowing. Your entire body knows that you belong on that track.
I don’t completely want to stay. I don’t completely want to quit. I don’t completely feel comfortable putting these thoughts into words, sentences, and paragraphs.
For a long time I’ve been afraid that there will be nothing to feed the beast if I quit roller derby. I quit smoking for my sport and no matter what else I do, I will never go back to the nicotine. I’m done with that bitch.
Today I joined some of my now retired leaguemates at a pole fitness class. It was challenging. And fun. More fun than I’ve had at derby in months. I even walked away with some blisters forming on my right palm. Every time I look at the blisters, I get a little excited. If you haven’t found a sport that you’re willing to bleed for, I’m sorry you don’t understand how amazing pain feels.
I can’t help but admit for the first time in a long time, I’m not afraid of what will happen if I quit roller derby. It feels amazing to know that if I quit, my life won’t return to the black and white matinee I wasn’t really watching.

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