Home is where you skate your heart out

Portage and Jam: Stepford Derby Wives
The Winnipeg Roller Derby League has been my home for over 2 years so I have trouble putting into words what if feels like to leave.

The things WRDL has given me could fill volumes;

It made me brave enough to acknowledge I wasn't happy in my job and that I needed to re prioritize my life.

It made me have courage, I always thought I was pretty ballsy but apparently I never had fully experience just how much courage a person could have. It takes balls of iron to willingly let someone hit you at 17 km an hour and get back up.

It gave me a challenge, I am a classic overachiever. I was on honour roll, I am good at a lot of things. Apparently I get that from my dad. But derby was a different beast. I actually had to work hard it. It knocked me down a few pegs and really required me to become humble and continually allow myself to be humbled. I have never worked this hard in my life.

It gave me a family. My family lives all over the place and to have a group I could consider family is a gift. Members would check on me when John was traveling a mind numbing amount. They were always available for hugs, encouraging words. They really came together when we needed each other. I've seen them do some incredible things to support each other as only a family can.

It gave me a team. I've played team sports previously but this kind of team is very different than your average high school sports team. It kills me that I won't skate with the Valkryies on August 20th. I have an open invitation to come back and skate with them any time and I plan on taking them up on that offer. Psssst....Valkryies I even put you guys in my tattoo. THAT'S how much you mean to me. I wanted to celebrate our team, MY team and commemorate the amazingness it is to be part of team permanently.

The gave me the knowledge that I CAN get up after being knocked down. Over and over and over and over and over. The real life application of the skill is one I took years to learn but now I know without a shadow of a doubt.

My time with WRDL hasn't always been all rainbows and unicorns but nothing in life is. If it was, I was probably doing something wrong. All the best things in life take hard work and some tears (or if you're me...a lot of tears.) But the pride you feel afterwards is a feeling that I don't think I have an adequate vocabulary for.

My beautiful parting gift waiting for the championship ticket
Now, WRDL...I know a lot of your are reading this I want to leave you with what I like to call Jambuster's Manifesto. At first I played with the idea of inserting them into the by-laws and making you all vote on them as my last act as the director of marketing but having JUST done the by-laws I feared I would not make it out of the league meeting alive if I did that. But I leave you with this, consider this Jambusters Manifesto,

Work hard.
Have fun.
No drama.

Thank you for letting me a skater, too nice, a chair, a director, a rainbow sock wearer, a Tanya Hard-On, a Valkryie, a Maiden (it was a honour to be chosen even if I had to turn it down), a cryer. Thank you for the courage, the family, the love you've not only shown me but also Johnbuster.

This is not goodbye forever. Certainly not. This is just a see you later. I will skate my heart out with the Zurich and remember to get low, have a longer stride and get mad on the track.