Today, a shout out to Bangor Roller Derby, a team I once skated with.
BRD just got off the ground and recently started scrimmaging. They’ve fought hard to keep girls skating through venue-shifts and drop outs, so it’s nice to hear that BRD, like lots of derby leagues, is helping people through hard times.
I moved to my new town a week ago. I miss my friends and the comfort of home, but yesterday someone added me to my new leagues fresh meat private facebook page. People have commented on my arrival including, “Welcome to the [North West] Dash, u have a built in family here!”
And it’s true. I don’t know these ladies yet. And, to be clear, I don’t need someone to save my life, but that sense of belonging, community, friendship, camaraderie of lots of women working toward a common goal feels like home. I recently took a long road trip through the United States and Charm City in Baltimore let me skate a practice, as did Bay Area Roller Derby in Oakland, California. And after weeks of not showering, of sleeping in my car and eating peanut butter on bread day after day (OK, that actually felt sort of normal), having my feet in sweaty skates and touching the skater in front of me’s back in a paceline felt like a refreshing wave of normalcy. Of home. No matter where I was. I’m glad this lady found that sense of home and love and support in Bangor Derby.
For me, derby didn’t save my life — it made me a better person (that’s a blog post for another day) — but it’s nice to hear (and re-hear) that it’s saving someone else’s. It’s a hard lesson to remember in minute 80 of endurance practice that the attitudes we have and the love and support we show our teammates on the track matters — it could be life or death.
Love each other,
—Dash(One thing I’m proud of: Enduring one hour of strength training and one hour of endurance practice yesterday; three things I’m grateful for: A support system of women from my last league, the acceptance and enthusiasm my new league is showing me, my best friend and derby mentor Mistress of the Knife for getting me this far.)