An Open Letter to Roller Derby

Those who have come to know and love Derby know that a relationship with her comes with many "feels." If it were Facebook official, it would be "Complicated." Thankfully, Derby is pretty forgiving, and wants to get back together with you as much as you want to get back together with her. [Psst! Down here. Speaking of getting back together, The Outfit has been killing it lately, and the new June WFTDA rankings prove it. "They came out of the funk they have been in since late 2013 with some really important wins and jumped 20 places to 45, securing a 2014 playoff berth..." says Alex 'Lex Talionis' Sassoon Coby, of Derby News Network. That means you should really come see this Saturday night's home game. The Syndicate takes on Milwaukee, and the Shade Brigade faces So Ill. Get your tickets here!]

The Shade Brigade, 2009. Maude Topsy sits second row, far right. Dear Derby,

Please take me back.

We were close once – inseparable three days a week. You kept me healthy, you introduced me to new friends, and we always had the best dance parties. But after three happy years together, we grew apart. Life got in the way, and I just couldn't make room for you anymore. I neglected you for months before I finally decided it was best for us both if we were to part ways. It wasn’t you, Derby, it was me.

I'm sorry if I didn't stay in touch, I'm not the kind to look back. It was out of self-preservation that I didn't go to your bouts, or watch your footage online. I didn't even Facebook-stalk you like I do most of my exes. I just couldn't handle the bitter reminders of the life we once had together.

After these two long years apart, I want to give you another chance. But Derby, you've changed, girl. When I knew you, you were still giving out minors! Now, you line up next to the jammer line, you skate backwards. You're just not the Derby I used to know, but it's cool  – I changed too. I'm in my 30s now and I've matured; I even go by Maude these days. Maybe I heal a little slower and my reaction time just isn't what it used to be, but I've got a more level head. I've got patience for your mood swings, and I know we won't always get along, but it's just a matter of time until we're on the same side again. Hey, maybe I understand this new side of you. Like me, you're a little slower, but a little rougher than you used to be. Derby, the new you seems like someone I could get to know better.

So what do you say, Derby my love? We cool? I promise to embrace all your changes, if you promise to be patient with mine. Maybe I’ll see ya around some time.

Hugs & butts, Maude Topsy

Maude Topsy, 2014.

Maude "Topsy" Topsy skated with the Shade Brigade from 2008-2010, and the Detroit Grand Prix Madonnas from 2010-2011. She retired from derby in 2011 after being diagnosed with a metabolic disorder while in grad school. She returned to The Outfit January, 2014 and is currently skating with the Shakedown.