Sometimes my friends say/post things like, “I’ve been playing roller derby for XYZ years. If I’d put that time and money into something else — I could be a [insert high-paying job or similar goal here] by now.”
Sometimes I think it too. It’s just math, right? Three-hour practices three times a week for let’s say 5 years might be 2,200+ hours depending on breaks and tournaments. Maybe it’s $2,000* if your league dues are about $30 — not including gear, skates, travel costs, uniforms …
As my derby age ticks up, I have these unwanted thoughts more often.
“What could I have done with my time and money?”
There’s an underlying message there … and it’s pretty cruel: What you’re doing isn’t important. Roller derby is trivial. You dummy, why didn’t you spend all your time and money on something *useful.*
To that, my heart responds to my intrusive brain in Amelia Earhart’s words:
Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
Adventure is worthwhile. Taking time for yourself is worthwhile. Helping other people find joy, sport and adventure is worthwhile. You’re worthwhile.
Heck, I’d pay that $2,000 — in my case at 7.5 years, closer to $3,000 — and 3,300+ hours any day for the friends I’ve gained alone. Never mind the 3,300 other lessons derby have given me.
Need another self-care derby post? Check out this oldie-but-goodie: 7 ways to forgive yourself (for the stupid shit you do) in roller derby
*A lot cheaper than whatever doctorate you wanted.
Feature photo by Jim Vernier, used with permission.