Breaking Up With Roller Derby Is Hard to Do

Why do we stubbornly hold on to things that no longer serve us? Why do we keep lugging around emotional baggage and deny ourselves healthy closure? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure and that is exactly why I’ve started posting again. Though I really should have shut all of this down over a year ago.

Sure, I’ve made a few posts over the last several months that turned out half decent. However, reality is that I fell out of love with roller derby in June of 2014 because [insert personal emotional baggage and other self-righteous explanations here]- actually, it doesn’t matter.

What DOES matter is that it’s a year later and I’m still quite hung up on roller derby.

Some of that hang up is on nostalgia. Fond memories of after parties with the Pile O’ Bones Derby Club upstairs at the Callie Curling Center in Regina, my first time EVER refereeing an actual bout in front of a jam packed venue at the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current, road tripping with great officiating peers to ref Flat Track Fever 2013, waking up one spring morning to an email from Dev Null congratulating me on being accepted as an official for the Roller Derby Association of Canada (RDAC) National Tournament in Edmonton, and more. There were a lot of great moments. It was also through derby that I met my wife, made some truly great friends, and finally decided to come out and accept myself as trans and pansexual.

But some of the hang up is also bitterness and bruised ego. I’ve poured a lot of heart and soul into this blog over the past 3 years, put myself out there, and I’ve had trouble letting that go. Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s spite for all the naysayers throughout the years. It’s probably both. I’ve also hung onto all variety of resentment not only toward specific sources, but also to the sport as a whole; which I have personally felt increasingly disappointed by even as a spectator.

Yet I’ve kept a grip on to the blog and all of this baggage left over long past when I decided to stop doing ANYTHING hands on in the sport last summer.

It was an article from Eve Inbetta, on leaving the sport in a positive way, that finally helped bring me clarity. I mean, I never formerly broke up with roller derby and that has led to some pretty unhealthy post-derby behaviors. I’ve been that stubborn ex who sticks around after the relationship has ended and insists on forcing a strained, disgruntled, superficial “friendship”. I’m that Facebook creeping spurned lover who peers in on roller derby, grumbling about its successes and sneering at its failures. I’ve continued to engage with the sport and occasionally write about it, sometimes even when I didn’t really want to.

That ain’t healthy. However, I don’t want this blog to end off on frustrated posts, unfinished plans, or by silently fading away into resigned, sour inactivity. I feel it is time to unpack and deal with all my emotional baggage and tie up loose ends. Then to formally say goodbye to both Derby Frontier and the sport in a positive, reflective way.

On September 1st, 2015, I’m going to be doing just that. In the meantime, I hope the coming self-reflective pieces and final thought posts may be useful to anyone else who finds themselves in some form of post derby limbo.

All I’ll say now is that breaking up with roller derby is hard to do.

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2 comments

  1. You’re being brave. And, if that reflection process changes how you feel, you can always stay on. In derby there’s sometimes too much focus on being in or out of the sport. You can be as in or as out of it as you like and that can be fluid too. Reflection and self discovery are always a good thing. I hope you find peace xx

  2. ❤ I feel this. I hope I can one day have a healthy relationship with derby again…until then I'm the bitter ex who's trying to stay away….its harder then it looks.

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