Another Life

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After practice on Sunday at Big Star, Nikita was joking with me about my “secret life” outside of roller derby. Sometimes it feels more like a past life. I started skating with Derby Lite in 2010 as a social outlet, not to mention a needed diversion from my art. For well over a decade I had been performing electronic music as Flutter (and singing for other various bands) and was feeling burnt out. Not only that, I lost funding for a children’s DVD program that I had created and been working on full-time for a couple years. If that wasn't enough pressure I was also going through a divorce.

Roller derby gave me not only a supportive community of women to hang with but a large enough challenge to distract me from the uncertainty in my personal life. When I realized that I was much stronger and athletic than I ever thought, derby became not only helpful to my health but I started to love it.

On 11/11/11 at Derby Lite’s Birthday Party, I won a free pair of skates which was great because I had been skating in the wrong size. That’s when my friends said they were trying out for the Chicago Outfit and that I should too. I reminded them that I sucked at skating but they pressed on. Since I had the time, being on artistic hiatus, I figured there was nothing to lose. To my surprise,I made the cut. And then, I fell in love with the skaters. Many of them were like old friends from my music and art scenes – a home away from home.

Being a part of a team has greatly impacted my life both on and off the track. It is a huge commitment to be on a league, something I heard about but didn't understand until I experienced it firsthand. Now on my second season, I feel that I've made it through that transition and am more relaxed this year. Being around these women has made me understand myself better. They see my greatness when I’m feeling small and push me when I don’t think I can go further. I’ll never forget when Lola told me to stop thinking that I sucked and encouraged me to keep trying my best during a drill. You cannot hide your true self with them and it’s comforting to know that I can just be myself.

The itch to sing and create art is surfacing again for me, and I’m glad. I've been working on smaller projects but until I am inspired to commit to a larger one, I will continue working hard at becoming a better skater and even better teammate.