A few months ago, I wrote some words about the friendships I have found in roller derby for the Galentine’s edition of the Fan Club zine. I feel really lucky to know and spend time with these women. In the spirit of celebrating friendships, I typed out my feelings about my awesome teammates.
Friends, Sweat and Tears.
They are strong, driven, creative, kind, supportive, nerdy, inspiring and ridiculous. These are the women I get to practice roller derby with in a sports hall every week. I didn’t realise just how much I would get from roller derby when I decided to try it five and a half years ago as an attempt at doing some exercise. Turns out team sports are sort of my thing. There are so many things I could write about on the subject of roller derby, but these friendships that I have gained are the most important to me.
Roller derby is intense. We are super passionate about it. With the adrenaline, the competition and the full contact nature of this sport, we can see each other at very worst and very best. We sweat, we bruise, sometimes we break and sometimes we cry. We encourage each other, we understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we know what we are capable of and we constantly remind each other of this. We might only spend a few hours together each week but we really get to know each other in that time. The bond we have formed is so strong, it goes beyond the game of roller derby.
I feel free to be my weirdest, most confident self around these women. They have helped me become proud of my body and of what it can achieve.
These are the women I have off-key singalongs with on road trips. These are the women I trust to give me piggybacks but then launch me across the floor of a service station. These are the women who will send their husbands to pick me up so I can stay at theirs when I’ve come back home from Christmas to find that my kitchen ceiling has caved in. These are the women I lose my voice with when cheering on roller derby teams. These are the women I dance interpretatively with, once so hard that I gave myself a nosebleed. These are the women I travel to Blackpool with wearing capes because… roller derby. These are the women I wouldn’t have been able to complete a marathon on skates without. These are the women I share creepy hotel rooms with. These are the women I cried laughing with because of sleep deprivation and ridiculous news articles. We are the women who look out for each other, who help each other through our heartbreak and through grief.
These are my dear friends. These are the women that energise me.
Picture credit to Jason Ruffell
Fan Club is a monthly night celebrating women in music and arts. It’s run by wonderful people and they have so many exciting events lined up that are worth checking out. Find out more on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/fanclubnotts