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derby deanna

You ever have that feeling where you’re excited about doing something, but scared at the same time? Ever feel like you know something is fun once you start doing it, but really wanna puke thinking about it? That’s my relationship with roller derby.

I’ve always been fat. I’m not using “fat” as a bad word, just a statement of fact. I’ve always been fat and if I’m honest, I’m currently the largest I’ve ever been and that sucks, for me. It makes a difficult sport such as roller derby, that much more difficult.

Softball is in my DNA. I can do it without thinking and even being fat, I can do pretty well. Roller derby is a sport where all types of body sizes can be utilized, but really, it’s still scary.

I’ve transferred up to Ohio Roller Derby based in Columbus, Ohio and their Rec League program. I’m excited because there’s a large space in which to skate and as someone who is fat, I always try to take up as little space as possible. So having a larger space is good, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as where I practiced before. It’s also not the place where I broke my fibula.

broken ankle

This is what my broken ankle looked like before I had the hardware placed and then a year later removed. It sucked. It more than sucked.

I remember the moment it happened, it plays in my head every time I put my awesome skates on my feet. But I do not want to be ruled by fear. I haven’t done the stabilization exercises as much as I’d have liked. But I have goals.

My goals are: try really hard until December and if I haven’t progressed, then I can quit. But if I can pass my level 1 skill requirements for Rec League, I can work towards reffing for scrimmages which I think I can be good at. I miss being a part of a team, and this is a way in which I can help my team. My third goal, is to be able to scrimmage at Rec League.

I know that I am “old” at 40 and don’t bounce back like I did even 10 years ago. I know that being fat, can hold me back, but can also be something that helps my being able to play this sport…plus, if I don’t break, I can become more healthy in general because I am active and being active and on a team makes me happy.

However I only get about 3 practices a month that I can be on skates at our warehouse. That beautiful warehouse that doesn’t have plumbing, smells of dust and sweat. That warehouse where hopefully I can find a place where I can skate some, and not let fear get in my way.

I don’t have to be as good as anyone else. I just need to improve myself. Are there things that you wish to get better at but sometimes fear holds you back? Have you looking fear in the eyes and said, “Not today. You don’t get to win today.” And for me, I have given myself permission to do as much as I can, listen to my body, and quit when I need to.

I’m fortunate that one of my favorite skaters is one of my biggest cheerleaders, will be present at different times for love and support. One of my other favorite humans will be around and encourage me as well…not to mention that my husband is the co-head referee. So for me, this is the best space for me. I should be cautious, but try not to let fear rule me. It’s possible.

And if this doesn’t work, I will be a Super Fan, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.



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