Wednesday, November 17, 2010

There has been a serious lack of hotpants lately

I was putting away laundry this morning, and I pulled open the drawer that holds my roller derby garb. Short and tight and sequined and thigh-hi and fishnetted - I was hit with this wave of longing which may result in my putting them on to go to Whole Foods.

If you had told me a year ago that I would have such a drawer, I would have laughed at you uncomfortably.
Because really. I am 35 years old for God's Sake.
Get A Grip On Yourself.
Thigh Hi Tube Socks? REALLY???

Oh yes, really.

Even though my doctors have advised me that throwing myself  (or being thrown/shoved/tripped) down on concrete repeatedly was perhaps not the best life choice I could have made in terms of my neck and back problems, I still got that bug, and I've got that drawer full of POWER  in the form of hotpants and brightly colored stockings and torn fishnets. And I will still have it when I'm 80. I might not wear the hotpants by then (You're Welcome and sorry for the visual) but I am going to keep that drawer to remind me that I can do just about anything once. Or until my doctor finds out and forbids me from ever doing it again.

Derby is like a splinter that gets stuck under your skin. Once you start skating that fast, that hard, for hours on end, you just...can't.....stop. The wind in your hair, the feeling of triumph when you finally nail the crossover and can get some real speed going around the turns, that time that you actually managed to block a much bigger and better and faster skater........those little moments are the highest high. You want to do it again,. And again, And more, better, harder, faster, longer, JUST ONE MORE TIME PLEASE MOM I PROMISE I'LL GO TO BED RIGHT AFTER. You are for that moment just you. No kids, no job, no drama.

I think it is similar to most other sports - and I include dance in that category. When everything goes the way it should, and all of the stars align, and your partner has your is so perfectly smooth and beautiful. And if you end up on your face with a broken tooth, maybe knocked unconscious and bleeding from the nose....well, it's perhaps not as much fun, but you get the same kind of high.

At the last derby event, I wore shoes to be timekeeper. Partially because I needed to concentrate on what was going on. Partly so that I would be able to get out of the referees' way quickly. Partly because I was afraid that in the heat of the moment I might jump on the track and race the jammer in my excitement and enthusiasm. I can't watch standing still. I am leaning forward and rocking to the side around each turn and holding my breath and all the while trying not to scream in my neighbor's ear. I am afraid to look, and feel the longing of being left behind, and I'm afraid to look away and miss a second of the game. Captivated.
You cannot be afraid when you are on the track - it will hold you back and hold you down and keep you from skating as fast and as hard as you can and should. And even if the doctor says that you have good reason to be afraid, that you simply cannot take another direct hit, I can tell you right now you practically need medication to stop. Like, "sign me up at the closest methadone clinic" kind of medication. Being sidelined for any reason is unacceptable. Almost physically painful.

Worse then landing on the concrete, I think..
But when I am not on the track, even in my most desperate hours of wanting to skate, I have to remember that I have a family who depends on me. That I have team mates who love me off the track too. That there are ways I can still be a derby girl, even without my skates on.

Like wearing hotpants and thigh-hi's to Whole Foods at 10am on a Wednesday.

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