Tonight was hard. So hard that I had a lump in my throat after the first half hour. Those pesky lumps that are soon followed my tears. The lumps that won't allow you to speak, because if you try, tears are going to flow.
I thought to myself. I don't belong here. What am I doing here? My baby is at home with a fever, and my 3 year old is waiting for me to get home to put her to bed. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am NOT a roller derby player. Seriously what the heck am I thinking coming here? I can't do this. I am a total faker.
Now don't get me wrong. I know that I can't skate very well, I know that it is going to take me a long time to get there, and really that is ok. Going to roller derby has another purpose.
Roller derby is a time for me to be me. Now I realize that "me" has a lot of components.
Leanna the wife
Leanna the mother
Leanna the daughter, sister, hobby farmer, child courier, Ds advocate, cook, maid, people pleaser, station wagon driving, converse wearing girl.
The "me" that I know right now is very focused on everything else but me. Even my extra curricular activities mostly revolve around Ds. There are lots of things that I want to do, but they just don't "fit in" right now. I have a busy schedule, It has taken me two days to get back to my dog groomer for goodness sakes.
Roller Derby is a time for me to be me. Whatever that means. It's a time where I can just go and skate, fall down and escape. I was feeling really overwhelmed. The coach wanted us to get into a formation so we could weave in and out of one another. There was no way that I figured I could do that. I was going to knock down each and every one of those girls. I was going to knock them down and they were going to hate me. I was going to make them fall and they would get bruised, and they were going to hate me, and I really don't want them to hate me.
So instead of getting into formation, I swerved to the outside edge and did wide laps on my own. I could feel the tension in my body. My back was aching, my right thigh was throbbing, my jaw hurting from clenching my jaw in my mouth guard. And then it happened, I let it go. I told myself that Ola was fine with my Mom fever and all. That Poppy would be fine staying up an extra half hour so I could put her to bed. My jaw relaxed and my skates coasted along the rink. I sped up, and my body relaxed. I did two cross overs in a row, and the feeling of flying came back to me just like I hoped it would. It took me back to skating up and down the tar lined streets of my early childhood, blasting NKOTB on my white and teal Sony walkman. This was the feeling I had been waiting for. The freeing feeling, like I could just if only for an hour and half be me. Just me.
After the hour was over and I rolled over to sit down and take my skates off, the lump was still there but the feeling behind it was different.
Instead of feeling not worthy of skating with the team, I felt proud that I could get to the point where I could just let go and take in the moment. The moment where I can put Ds, fevers and coughs out of my mind and focus on me.
Well me, and that ref counting how many times I can skate the track in 5 minutes. I hear that the goal is 25 laps in 5 minutes.
I did 20.
Maybe I am not such a bad skater after all?