Thursday, November 24, 2011

Athlete or weekend warrior?

Why did you get into roller derby?  A lot of people do it for the fitness aspect, but then are completely sucked into world of roller derby. I was turning forty the year I started, and I decided that either  I was going to jump out of a plane or tryout for roller derby.  Guess where I ended up?

Before I tried out for derby, I was very into fitness; I worked out at least five days a week and loved being active.  I always liked moving around, but I hadn't been involved in organized sports for over a decade.  When I first started skating again (after a twenty year hiatus) I was in pretty good shape; my endurance was high and due to my bike riding, my legs were strong.  I also did weights and ran.

Last year, someone asked me if I considered myself an athlete; the question really made me sit and ruminate for a while.  Was I in shape? Yes.  Did I play a sport? Yes....but was I an athlete?  Maybe.  It was funny, but I didn't think I was hardcore enough to call myself an athlete at the time, even though I was making five practices a week and training outside of derby on a regular basis.  It was purely my perspective that kept me from calling myself an athlete; I felt like I hadn't earned it yet.  Looking back, I now understand, it was pretty ridiculous.

I am definitely an athlete; if I didn't have derby, I would still pursue active training in other disciplines, such as running, or biking, or even martial arts.  If wheels disappeared from the earth tomorrow, I would still be out there pushing myself. My league is now in derby break and I'm making myself take up yoga, because I need to be more flexible to be a better skater; I'm also focusing on yoga because it is a challenge, and I suck at it right now. Every day starts with yoga, and I gnash my teeth every time my balance is tested, but I keep pushing through because I am an athlete.

What would you be doing if you couldn't play derby?  Would you still be active?  Would you be pushing yourself mentally and physically to take up new challenges?  Or, when you aren't playing derby, do you find yourself being more sedentary?  Are you an athlete or a weekend warrior?  Which one would you rather be in real life?  I'll pick athlete, thanks.

Try your local Crossfit...I think they are a fabulous organization.


  1. I was completely sedentary before derby. I guess I still don't really think of myself as an athlete but I've definitely caught the activity bug. I have an injury that is keeping me out of our next bout (and last, for the season) but I am still a lot more active than I was pre-derby. I walk a couple miles a day, do floor work to keep my core strength up, and I bought a bike that I look forward to using when I can sit on the seat. :) Yoga's a great idea; might have to dig out the tapes. (Derby dues take the place of gym membership for me and more activities are not in our budget, so I need to do whatever else I do on my own.)

  2. The bike is a great idea! I'm glad you're walking too!