Change on Four Wheels
By Sarah Lena
This last weekend, a decision was cemented inside of me.
See, I’ve been an announcer for a local team of the Women’s Flat-Track Derby Association for a year now. This means that I get the incredibly fun job of learning the game, announcing the play-by-play, dancing at halftime with the children, and going to drink at the after parties.
But .. every bout that I’d call, I’d sit there and think, “Man, those girls are so BAD-ASS.”
Every bout, at least one girl on skates would say, “When are you going to lace up and join us?”
My response was always as follows. “I have an agreement with gravity. Skates nullify that agreement.”
Which, OHMYGOD, is totally true. I am the girl, after all, who fell in the middle of the rink WHILE FLAT-FOOTED after dancing the Cupid Shuffle with 50 little girls.
But, really, the more I watched, the more obsessed I became.
(Y’all, I really CAN’T roller skate. I mean, I could when I was twelve, but .. I could also put my ankles behind my ears when I was twelve, too, and you don’t see me doing that now, do you?)
But during the last weekend, a 48-hour derby tournament hosted by our girls, I just sat in awe. The sisterhood that permeates this sport is like none other. Seriously.
Finally, during the last bout, the coach wandered over to the DJ booth. And asked the same ole question: When Sarah? When?
And I answered as I always do.
He responded, “C’mon, girl! Ain’t none of us born with wheels on our feet. We all had to learn!”
That same day, I was friended on Facebook by a derby name I didn’t recognize. When I looked a little deeper, I realized that our league was actually working to form a junior league of girls 18 and under. Not only teaching them to skate, but teaching them about nutrition, diet, sleep.. and ultimately building self-confidence and friendships that are like none other.
And I was sold.
This week, I sign up.
I’m hoping that next week, I learn to skate.