Roller derby makes me feel strong. It makes me feel capable and powerful and… and… and it makes me feel fucking invincible!
Before derby I was a runner. Over the course of my running career I have cover HUNDREDS of miles. I did many 5K’s, one 10K, a handful of half-marathons, three full marathons, and three 200 mile Ragnar relay races. In all, I covered a lot of ground and kicked a lot of ass-phalt.
But lame jokes aside, running kept me in really good shape. It kept me lean and gave me endurance for dayssssssssss.
I also lifted heavy, ate healthy, swam, cross-trained, never smoked, and was the pillar of health and strength.
But in 2014 I started playing derby I learned what my body was actually made for.
It was the first time in my life that I felt like my body had a purpose. I need my legs to give me speed but also to stop immediately. I need my arms to keep balance and support my teammates. My abs are the core of it all and the stronger they are the more sturdy I am. My hips are vital to hitting my opposition out of bounds. And suddenly my large ass is a commodity! It’s necessary not only for strength but as a barrier to keep opponents behind me. (Where they should be.)
As a 33 year-old woman, I find myself truly happy and confident with the body that I have. I’ve never been upset with it, but of course I’ve always felt (as we all do) that it could be better. Something could be smaller. Something could be larger. Something could be tighter or firmer or smoother.
But I found myself not being so critical of those areas anymore.
They are just fine the way they are because every piece of my body serves a purpose. My body isn’t just to look good or to hold my insides together. I’m using this body of mine for some seriously hard work.
And it’s doing a damn good job, too.