“At 22 years old, I first got involved with roller derby June 2014, my sister had been skating for years and I finally wanted to check it out. Ever since I started going to events, the people made me feel welcome and supported me through a time in my life where a lot was changing. For 6 months, I was a groupie, going to and eventually volunteering at the events and enjoying hanging out with the skaters. In January 2015, I decided to begin skating as I was on my winter break and “needed something to do”. What began as “something to do” quickly became one of my favorite things to do. When I joined roller derby, I had never really skated before and I am not the most athletic of people but everyone was still supportive and helped me any way they could. I continued to “skate” (it was more of standing and falling down for a while) while going to school for my masters. Skating and roller derby became my break from a very difficult school year. Every week, I looked forward to the hour and a half commute to spend time skating, laughing, and hitting my friends. Roller derby is an amazing sport because it allows people to be themselves, without fear of judgment. It became, and remains still, the corny but very real example of its ok to fall as long as you get back up.
Although I am still not a particularly “good” skater, and who knows if I will ever be, roller derby has been an amazing part of my life. I have struggled with anxiety for several years but skating and roller derby allows me to let off the steam that builds up in other aspects of my life. The members of this team have supported me ever since beginning to skate, sometimes quite literally, in all aspects of my life whether it’s helping me off the floor after falling again or helping me study to pass a test. I know I have met some lifelong friends on this team I have only been a part of for such a short time. Someday I just hope I will be good enough to help the new skaters of this team the way the veterans have helped me.”
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