so much derby, not enough skating.

Okay, so maybe I’ll just be writing every weekday. It was just about impossible to get to this thing over the weekend. Sorry about that. Even Dewey got a little quiet after that late-night dance party fun. We’re almost at 100 donations, so please continue to spread the word. I think this book drive will only be for another week, and we’re about to hit 300 books sent. We’ve emptied out three wishlists, which is fantastic, but they still could use some children’s books and YA. Won’t you send a book? Just one book? Look what a difference just one book makes in their after school program!

Speaking of books, I head to Athens, Georgia, this week for lots of book-signing, derby-slamming action. Hope I will see some of you there. But not all of you. Because we’ll get in trouble for too many people in the building, and I just don’t want anybody to have to deal with that kind of stuff right now because we’re all dealing with too much as it is.

Now that it’s been six months since I’ve been on skates… I miss it more than I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, there are some wonderful things about having a derby-free schedule. I currently have fingernails and I can bend all of my limbs. My car almost has stopped smelling of wet girl funk. I even have some time available to see friends who don’t play roller derby. That’s the biggest change, actually. I don’t miss the grueling schedule (All that time I used to be on the track or doing conditioning work I’ve been using to write. I have traded in biceps for spec scripts, which… is definitely what I’m supposed to be doing with my time, and I’m definitely getting much more work done), nor do I miss getting up in the morning to find that half of one of my legs is purple and swollen in a skate-shape, but…

I miss my derby friends, and I miss that just-finished-too-many-hours-of-skating hot shower, I miss some of my muscles, and there’s something to that sports grind that keeps you moving forward because there’s always another goal just out of your reach.

Exercise is lonely. Now when I work out I’m all by myself instead of with thirty or forty people, and I don’t get that feeling of, “Can I do this/get to here/learn this trick — SUCCESS!” when it’s back to treadmills, ellipticals and weights. It’s probably why I’m listening to podcasts when I work out — music just doesn’t keep me motivated like it used to.

I spend a lot of time writing and talking about roller derby these days, and it gets harder and harder to answer the question, “Are you going back?” because it isn’t entirely up to me (if I want to be smart/safe), and I know what is ahead if I jump back in. It’s a lot of days and nights spent talking derby, skating derby, training for derby and months and months before I’ll ever be where I was.

And if I don’t go back, won’t that make me a quitter? I know it’s possible that my time in derby has come to an end and I limped away with an enormous bundle of friends and a novel people seem to like, but if I had known that was going to be my last time on the track, I would have done one more victory lap. Endings are hard. They’re even harder when you learn it was the end only through hindsight.

That being said, I’m on my way to the gym, because one thing I’ve learned in all these off-skates months is that if I don’t keep working out like I’ve got a bout in two weeks I turn into a grumpy, frustrated person. One who thinks the littlest things are just THE WORLD MESSING WITH HER.

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