Wow, it’s been a long time since I last poured my little derby heart out on the ‘ole FoCo blog… I have missed it. Sort of. Its also been really nice to have a break from the pressure. Since my last post, a lot has changed. I took a break from derby, I stepped down as Head of PR, and I had some serious travel adventures. As of January 2015, I am back on skates, have completed the WFTDA testing once again (28 laps in 5 minutes, yeah buddy!), and I am getting ready to come back to scrimmage.
It’s weird having been away from the league for so long. I was off skates from August 2014 to January 2015. I missed the workout, I missed my friends, I missed the derbs, but coming back, it’s not the same. I don’t know what I expected, but I feel like I don’t fit in with the new recruits I have been skating with and the relationships I have with the veterans seem to feel different.
The logical part of my brain is like “But Molly, did you expect your team to stop growing and changing while you were gone?” and I guess, subconciously, I kinda did. I didn’t expect to feel like such an outsider, I can tell you that. I feel like I am neither vet nor fresh meat. Not part of the league, but more than a fan. I feel like I have one skate in derby and one skate out.
Another weird thing about being away from derby for so long, was introducing myself with my derby name again. The first time I said “My name is Mollytov Maguire but you can call me Molly!” I stuttered over the “Molly” a little bit. Like it didn’t want to come out of my mouth. There has been lots of stuttering, and not just over my name. Skating, aching, going to 9pm practices, being AMPED THE EFF UP after them until 2 am, and getting less than 3 hours of sleep after derby nights, feeling the hunger of having burned 1500 calories at practice the night before; all are things that I had sort of romanticized. “Ah, the good ‘ole days, when my muscles hurt all the time and I was eating all the food and enjoying after derby beer club, and I was part of something bigger than me! Golly wasn’t that the best?!” but I had forgotten what it was like to have to make those friends and be in better physical shape. To have the pre-practice derby anxiety, and to have my shins hurt SO BAD that I almost cry. These are the things that I am LIVING once again, and it’s not as romantic as I had made it out to be while I was gone.
My skills and endurance have seriously atrophied and that is a real blow to the ego. I feel a little like the classic “Facebook Derby Girl” right now. She’s the girl who wants to do derby so she can post about it on Facebook, but where is she when practice time comes? In my case, she is dreading going back to a practice where she feels more alone than when she is alone. Where her expectations of her skills and the reality of her skills are no longer aligned.
What I am working on remembering is that these people, who I love, didn’t just stop existing when I wasn’t looking at them. They developed new relationships and inside jokes while I was away, and now it’s me that has to adjust to being back, not the other way around. There is still a place for me in the league and it’s up to me to find it. Just like it has always been up to me. Everything about my derby life has always been up to me.