I’ve been pretty silent for a while. I took some time off from skating to move house, and get some PhD work done. Being away from the sport gave me some time to reflect on it.
I realised that derby makes me feel completely different about my body. For the months that I wasn’t skating I started to judge myself on my appearance. A really harsh inner voice that I hadn’t heard for a long time started getting louder and louder.
I’ve been back on skates for almost a month now. When I look at my legs I’m reminded of the strength in them; of how they can carry me around the track hundreds of times; of how they can knock a girl down.
This video from the Rose City Rollers sums up so many of my feelings, and more. These women are incredibly inspiring, but only as inspiring as so many people I’ve come to know through derby. So many women experience trauma connected to their bodies. If roller derby can help us heal some of that and find a strength that has been buried or denied, then it’s all worth it. Every difficult moment. Every time we struggle.
Derby isn’t perfect. But we’re creating a space that challenges what we’ve been taught about ourselves. And in that sense, there is something truly revolutionary about it.
See you on the track sisters,