Introducing Lana Del Rage
I think I first heard of roller derby from the movie Whip It. Although this isn’t the most accurate representation of the sport, it definitely peaked my interest. Maybe it was the crazy outfits they wore, maybe it was their sense of community, maybe it was just Ellen Page, but whatever it was, I was intrigued. So when I saw a booth for The Outfit at Dyke March this past summer, I decided to take a flyer and check it out. I saw that they had one last bout in Logan Square at the end of July and decided to go with my roommate to see what derby was like in real life. Even before the game started, I was sold.
I attended this game at a very transitional time in my life, I had recently left a job in the nonprofit world that worked me 60-80 hours a week and was dealing with some pretty serious medical issues. Even just the idea of joining the team was a huge source of hope for me. It showed me what I could do with my life now that I had room in my schedule for myself and not just work. It also showed me what I could do and who I could be once I was healthy. Maybe in the future when I’m feeling more brave and more open, I’ll go into more detail about my struggles, but for now let’s just say that there were times that I couldn’t even stand for long periods of time, let alone skate. So joining the team was a pretty lofty goal for me, but one I was willing to work hard towards. Months later, I’m so much healthier, and derby has been a big part of that. I feel in tune with my body in ways that I wasn’t before, and I’m taking care of myself better than I ever have. I am so thankful for this sport and for this community for helping me get to this point and to help me grow.
One of the most difficult parts of leaving my job was leaving the community I had built there. The nonprofit I worked for focused on LGBTQ+ politics, so it had a sort of built-in queer community, which was really hard to leave behind, even though the job itself wasn’t good for me. This is one of the reasons I’m so glad to have found a new family here with The Outfit, and I look forward to getting to know my teammates even better as time goes on.
Lana Del Rage #25