So I have an intense day job. I run the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline. It’s a 24 hour program and I supervise 4 staff and several volunteers. Obviously the subject matter I deal with daily is heartbreaking and upsetting, but the stress of running a 24 hour crisis line also takes a toll on me physically and emotionally. Simply put—it can be completely exhausting—but yet I drag myself to practice after long days and I often do not get home until after 11:30pm. So why do I do it?
When I go to practice I get to bask in positivity, strength, and camaraderie. We are all working together, supporting and motivating one another to push ourselves and honestly- it’s the ONLY time I get to forget about rape culture and the fact that our society still blames victims for sexual assault. It’s a time when I can be physical and strong and feel supported. When I’m at practice- I can let go of the weight that I carry in doing this work. When you work in the anti-violence field, you are keenly aware of how violent our society is and its visceral affects. So it’s important to create boundaries and balance in your life so you can deal with that trauma. Roller derby is the first sport I’ve played and I will forever be grateful for the positivity and amazing women it has brought to my life. The culture of The Outfit is one of support, positivity, and hard work; if it weren’t, it would cease to be a cathartic experience for me. Roller derby isn’t just a sport to me- it’s therapeutic.