|Photo by A Boy Named Tsunami|
I'm older than a lot of people in my league; I have learned that there is a bit of an age gap at times. It's totally bridgeable, but sometimes I'm too cranky to cross that bridge.
If you're an older skater in your league, and I know they're are a lot of you out there; see if these statements ring true for you.
1. Sometimes you're going to feel like the adult chaperone on the field trip bus. At times, I have to resist the urge not to roll my eyes when I see someone's world go crazy from drama. I have to remind myself of the old saying "In your twenties, you make big mistakes. In your thirties, you spend your time making up for the dumb things you did in your twenties. In your forties, you're too tired for drama." I added that last part, but seriously, things that seem so life and death when you're younger seem less agonizing when you get older.
2. You get cranky if you don't get enough sleep on a trip. Ah twenty-somethings are amazing; they can get two hours of sleep and bounce back the next day after coffee and a "quick three mile run." I lost that ability when I hit my thirties, and I'm ok with admitting that I need to sleep 6-8 hours to be functional the next day. Also, I'm not going to lie, I'm picky about who I room with on derby trips. If you're a night owl that wants to stay up giggling all night, you ain't gonna be in my room.
3. You take longer to warm up, but when you get there, you're able to skate longer than younger skaters. Don't ask me to run as a warm up; for my muscles to warm up properly, I need a little more time and gradual warm up. I'll run after I warm up, but reluctantly, and complaining most of the time, because running sucks. Yes it does. Yes it does. Yes it does.
4. Having life experience can help out with derby experience. We older skaters are better at handling our money, and planning our time. We know how to get things done, because we have had more practice at juggling all the things on the busiest of schedules. Seriously, when you're busy as hell, you tend to get your tasks done, because you have to be organized to do them all and not drown under a pile of crap.
5. Although nobody is rich, older skaters tend to be more financial solvent than younger skaters. I am NOT a moneybags, and I can't afford everything I want, but I do have some money that I can toss towards gear and travel if I make smart decisions. I'm not going to have to eat Ramen noodle soup for a month to do it either.
6. We're a focused bunch. Endurance isn't just physical attribute. Mentally, older people tend to be able to focus on long term goals. We can see the forest for the trees, so to speak. I personally would have never made it this long in derby at a younger age. I was pretty impatient about reaching goals. Age has mellowed me a little bit. (Just a bit though)
7. Afterparty objectives become food rather than boozing it up all night. Want me to come out to an after party? Make sure there's food there, otherwise I'll find some place else to graze and then MAYBE drag my butt to the after party.
8. You get to call out twenty somethings that complain about feeling old. Look people, you have no idea what it feels like to feel old at twenty something. Talk to me when you're in your mid thirties and your knees pop when you're just walking up the stairs. Also, talk to me after your doctor sets up certain medical tests for you because you're a "lady of a certain age." Talk to me after you find your first grey pubic hair. Yes, I said it. Read that sentence again if you must.
9. Even though sometimes it's hard to bridge the age gap, I'm glad that I have the chance to skate with younger folk. Younger people have a different energy, and being around them let's me remember how to be optimistic, and sometimes just be giddy. Viva la diference!