Something's not right. You've felt it for a while, that sinking feeling somewhere deep in your gut. You look around at everything that you've built together, look them in the eyes, the love you once felt not gone but different somehow. You remember how it felt in the beginning; that euphoric, sweep you off of your feet feeling. You'd give anything to feel it again. Is it time to call it quits?
You've had an OK run, maybe skating just isn't for you, not everyone is cut out for it, right? Perhaps it's time to stop kidding yourself, sell your kit and pursue other hobbies, resign to what you previously thought you knew; team sports just aren't for you.
There's a small voice straining to be listened to, it's telling you to that you're not done yet.
There's another team nearby whose training does not clash with that of your own; "give it one last go!" the voice says. Maybe this is what you need? A couple of sessions away from the usual noise just to give it one last shot, just to answer that niggling question; is it me or them? You write out your message. No, sounds too needy, they don't want that level of detail; no-one needs your neurotic ramblings, rewrite. Eventually the right combination of words come together, you press SEND before you have chance to bottle it. Sooner than you bargained for there's a reply.
Outside the hall, sat in your car, it’s not too late to turn back. There’s a sports hall full of skaters, they’ll never know if you don’t go in. There’s a sports hall full of skaters. Check your kit bag, you’ll probably have forgotten something. There’s a sports hall full of skaters. Maybe you could take up crocheting? Paralysed by anxiety you consider the SPORTS HALL FULL OF SKATERS, all of whom you are more than certain are far more advanced than you and surely don’t want you there to hold them back. Gingerly, with sweating palms, you enter the hall, make fleeting eye contact with the closest person and look away. From somewhere around you a friendly greeting is spoken.
The last two hours were exhilarating. Your heart is beating ten to the dozen and you’re covered in sweat, not all of it your own. All you know is that at some point you planted a person on their backside. This seems to be an indicator of success. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not you.
The next few weeks are spent in torment, head vs heart; you know what’s for the best but how do you walk away from something you helped to create? The betrayal begins to weigh heavy eventually becoming too much to carry. Like a child you seek the approval of your coach; you respect them so they need to be part of this decision. There's only one conclusion; it's not you and it isn't them; sometimes we have just have to accept that change can be positive.
It can be easy to mistake Derby for a whirlwind romance; fun whilst it lasts and always to be looked back on with fond memories. It is so much more than that, roller derby is a relationship and like any relationship, you have to work at it. For me, although not originally obvious, I was ready to take skating to the next level. Where I thought that I’d never had a thirst for competitive play, it turned out I was dehydrated.