“Why do you need to rent a place? Just sleep at the rink!”
Roller derby isn’t just about roller skating. When I joined as freshmeat, more senior skaters mentioned here and there about being involved outside of coming to practice, and in my head, it sounded very much like this far reality that I’d get to see in maybe ten years, if I lasted that long.
Truth is, I started putting in the hours at practice and then was asked to help with bout production, until I saw my name on a committee list and very quickly, my entire life had become roller derby.
Like many other skaters, I have a full time job, I have a family, a house to care for, and other hobbies that don’t necessarily involve roller skating or cross-training, plus, I like to sleep. Oh yeah, I really like to sleep. Gosh knows how important a good diet and enough sleep are to our performance on the track so… How could I do it all without crashing in the process?
Well, finding that balance wasn’t without hitting big bumps on the road. Let’s also note that I’m not rostered on a travel team yet. This post will probably see a sequel once that fun stuff happens.
I had my struggles at home and work, dealing with my newly found derby love, which to many looked more like an addiction. The unmanageability of spending so many hours doing anything derby related and trying to live the rest of my life was rearing its ugly head, and nagging me!
“It’s derby or this!”
Derby really felt like another relationship or commitment no one understood but anyone involved in derby. I felt like I was doing something wrong. There was no way in hell I’d give up derby, but I also didn’t want to give up on the rest of my life.
Roller derby can be overwhelming without a conscious effort to keep the rest of my life as full and productive as possible. I need to make time for my family. I need to make time for me. The line can be so easily crossed, and all of a sudden, yes, derby becomes a time-chugging monster.
What I read and heard many many times, is that derby doesn’t last forever. Right now it may seem like I’m going to spend the rest of my happy life bodyslamming on eight wheels, but I won’t. The time will come, and I’ll wave my goodbye to the derby world to resume my beautiful life… Do I want to resume such life without my house, my family, my job? Obviously not. If I keep this thought in perspective, then I know what my priorities are.
Needless to say, I dedicate a lot of my free time to roller derby, and I love my league and teammates like a family. I also understood that having balance in my life was extremely important so I could be fully there for my league. The last thing I want is to grow any kind of resentment because “derby is stealing all my time”. Drawing the line of “too much is too much” is tricky though, and is different from person to person.
In the long run, I make a priority to be happy. As long as I’m aware of my obligations and fulfill them to the best of my abilities, I can do pretty much anything. The rink remains my natural habitat but I still spend time doing other fun things, like gardening, watching a movie, or hitting the skate park for instance. 😉
I must remind myself that derby will be there when I tend to my other obligations, and I’m not the only derby girl out there who has to deal with life emergencies. There are chores we all need to do-like laundry!!- but derby hopefully isn’t one of them.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you balance your life and roller derby?