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Passion: What did you become/continue to be sincerely passionate about in 2011? When you are in the moment doing something you love what does look + feel like? 

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This year, I discovered a new passion.  Roller Derby.

Lisa and i have long talked about it, joked about our “derby diva” names and saw “Whip It” as soon as it came out.

On a whim this summer, Lisa and I got tickets to our first banked track bout.

I was hooked…and by hooked, I mean that I want to DO this.  It doesn’t matter that it’s been, oh, maybe fifteen years since the last time I was on skates.  It doesn’t matter that I’m going to be (gulp) forty-four on my next birthday.  It doesn’t matter that just about the only person in my life that didn’t look at me like I was completely nuts was my mother.

I promptly marched into my gym and signed up with a personal trainer; the gym, where I have been half-heartedly marching on treadmills and watching parts of movies for the better part of a year.  I decided that if I’m going to compete with women half my age, I need to be able to hold my own physically.

I even started another blog, which I have been woefully neglecting as of late, to announce my intentions to the world, and to document my progress.

When I talk about derby, I invariably get the same reaction from people.  They are really enthusiastic about the sport, maybe know someone who used to skate and think that it’s really cool in the abstract.  When I say that I want to try out, they get a puzzled look on their face, tilt their head to the side and say, “Really?”

Dave, Ben and I went to a flat track bout a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving.  Flat track derby is faster, rougher and seems more like what you would expect of derby.  They crash around, whip each other through the pack and take it very seriously.  The boys got into it, and as we walked out to our car later, Dave said, “I can see you doing this.”

I’ve tried to explain myself to so many people.  It’s hard to express this feeling in my gut.  It’s the belief that this is something that I could be good at.  I’m competitive, but it’s been years since I’ve participated in a sport.  In my head, I’m still an athlete.  It’s just getting the message to my body.

Something about the camp of derby appeals to me, too.  I suppose that I see myself as a tough, but sparkly, broad.  It’s the whole Blond Bombshell thing…this is what I want to be.

This weekend, I’m taking Lisa, and our cousin, Rachael, to a bout.  If you’ve followed this blog, you’re well aware of how I feel about these women.  They are the other reason that I want to try out.

As Lisa confronts cancer head on, she has inspired me to take a chance and do something that I never thought that I would do.  She has encouraged me and offered to go skating with me.  She doesn’t know it, but she’s going to help me decide on a derby name when the time comes.

Rachael has also been a motivating factor in my life.  Several years ago, after spending most of her life in one place, she decided that she needed to take a huge leap of faith.  She plucked up her courage and moved to a small town on the eastern coast of Australia.  She didn’t know anyone or have any resources, yet, she’s settled in and is going to school, doing what she loves.

I have one other cousin, Rudee.  Like her sister, Rachael, Rudee has worked in some of the  most desperate places in the world.  She spent time in Haiti, and has traveled the world.  Rudee can’t be with us until later next week, but she is another of my motivators.

With such incredible women in my family, and such incredible spirits to live up to, the least that I can do is strap on a pair of skates and roll around in a circle.

Blond Bombshell

In the month of December, I am participating in reverb11.  It is a chance to look back and reflect upon the year just passed, and to look forward to 2012.  Each day, a prompt is issued, and the reverb11 community interprets the prompt in accordance with their own experience.  Join us, won’t you?