When I was a teacher, I had an unrequited enthusiasm for the beginning of each and every new school year. I loved all of the new supplies, seeing my new students, looking at my awesome new lesson planning book, and getting the bulletin boards all decorated. Yeah I had the new teaching bug bad, but happily, I still feel it when I start a new season with roller derby. Instead of new supplies, I have new wheels and a new skate bag. Instead of new students, it's newbies! Who doesn't love the unbridled enthusiasm of newbies to get your heart pumping again! This time I'm not looking forward to making lesson plans, but I'm really excited about creating drills, planning practices and bringing the league to a higher level!
And that's what it's really all about, isn't it? If I don't feel this way at the beginning of the season, then maybe it's time to take a break from derby. This will be my sixth season, and I always make sure if derby is still worth it. I mean, I spend a lot...a LOT of money on derby and a LOT of time, and I need to know....IS IT STILL WORTH IT? You have to be frank about how you feel about derby; being honest with yourself is the only way to go on this.
Do I still look forward to the break ending?
When I first started derby, my league had decided for the first time ever to start doing a short derby break at the end of November and until January. What? I was just starting to get the hang of this derby thing! No skating at all? It was terrible! Outrageous! I went and skated at every other league's open practice that I could find, and went to every open skate session ever. The next year was the same, and the year after that. During the break between my fourth and fifth season, I sort of took it easier on myself. I went to a couple of invitationals, but then, I worked on my fitness, cleaned my house, went to visit people and NOT BRING MY SKATES...you know how crazy that can be. This year, during break I ate all the things, went to an invitational, hung out with my friends and family, went to one open skate and started sweating to T25. Was I still glad that break was over? Hell yes I was, but I'm definitely looking forward to them starting now as well.
Does the fun out weigh the drudgery?
Roller derby has all the work ever. I got home today after proctoring tryouts, participating in allstar practices, and watching bout footage with the league; when I got home, I spent another couple of hours writing emails, checking in with skaters and doing the general scut work that comes with any position held in a league. Is skating still fun? Yes. Does it still hold more weight than the BS? Yep....at least so far.
Are there more good memories than DRAMATIC memories?
I hate derby drama. I know that when you have a lot of human beings doing one activity or in one place, you're going to have some sort of drama. Hopefully your league is one where drama is kept to a minimum; it never ceases to amaze me when a league allows the drama to overtake the sport; thankfully, most of my derby memories are healthy and positive. Whew!
Does my body still want to skate?
Hey, there may come a point when my body is like "Hey brain, this skating thing isn't going to be happening anymore....just wanted to let you know." I know that age and injuries will eventually force me into giving up my sport, but as the modified quote goes from Game of Thrones "What do we tell retirement? NOT TODAY!"