Face Planting and Risk Taking

I’ve recently taken up a new sport. The sport has been described as playing speed chess while bricks are thrown at you. It’s full contact, fast, and players get used to being covered in bruises. Oh, and it’s also played on roller skates. The sport is roller derby.

The first time I put the skates on my feet, I literally fell flat on my backside when I tried to get up. I’m now about a month or so into my training and meet up with the other beginners on a weekly basis. I’m learning all the basics – from various skating techniques to how to fall properly. It’s intense, exhausting  and painful. But exciting, exhilarating, fun and has given me exactly what I need at this time in my life.

“Most seem to find roller derby in transitional periods. It’s weird and wild and seems like everyone who ever needed to step out of their comfort zone (or never knew how to live in one to begin with) found this controlled chaos at just the right time. We ruin our bodies to save our souls, and for some reason that makes perfect sense.”

Bonnie D. Stroir

 Having had some changes in my life over the past few months, in both my personal and professional life – I guess you could say I have been in a transitional period. In the midst of all the change, and as the dust has settled, I’ve been trying to find a new ‘way to be’. I’ve needed to take a risk and to regain control.

I’m an advocate of taking risks. I think it’s important to live our lives in a way that challenges us and makes us step out of our comfort zone every so often. Most often my biggest risks come when I’m in a transitional period, or when I’m struggling, or unhappy, or feeling trapped. From a very troubled time within a close group of friends came my big risk of a move overseas. I regained control through diving in to something I had always wanted to do. From feeling trapped in service industry jobs came my risk of going back to uni – eventually becoming a teacher and finding my vocation in life. Some risks are small – being the first to say hi, putting yourself forward as a volunteer, offering a shoulder to cry on, trying a new sport. Some risks are big – quitting your job, moving overseas, stepping away from a relationship.

As I put my body through it’s paces in learning all the skills it takes to even attempt this sport, I’m risking falling on my face (the face-plant is a regular occurrence at training!), gaining an array of new and colourful bruises, and possible injury. However, the endorphins and adrenalin that come with each little victory, the new friendships I am gaining by going out there and trying something new on my own, and the physical and mental strength I am building through pushing my body a bit further every week, balance out every bruise and fall!

2 thoughts on “Face Planting and Risk Taking

  1. I am so completely in awe of you for doing this!
    I’ve wanted to try roller derby for an absolute age now, but fear gets in the way. As far as roller derby’s concerned, that’s probably a good thing – I have broken three arms (go figure) throughout my last two attempts on roller skates, after all – but your courage in giving it a go reminds me of the need to get out of our comfort zones in a far broader way.

    Happy rollin’!

  2. Thanks Laura! I am loving it but it is quite brutal at times – even while learning just the basics. If you’re interested the team have a bout on Saturday at the Beach Leisure Centre, Aberdeen 🙂 I’ll be there lending a hand and cheering them on.

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