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[personal profile] sacredchao
Two years ago I watched my derby league head off to The Great Southern Slam and was annoyed that I didn't really have the resources to join them. I consoled myself with the idea that I'd be bouting at the next one. TGSS happens every two years so I'm watching Facebook posts from my league all thrilled about TGSS 2014 and remembering how much I had looked forward to it. I thought I was getting over this. I think in some ways I am but sometimes derby can still produce ugly broken-hearted sobbing and every time I'm shocked at the strength of those feelings.

So let's drag it all out and spread it on the table for another look. I suspect I need to do that to at least put this into context. I lost derby at the point when I was most invested in it. Nearly two years ago I posted this. That was my first and only scrimmage and in that evening I fell in love with derby properly. I loved the sport, I loved the people I did it with and I loved the things I could do with my body. Packing for the very next training session I felt something *wrong* in my knee and that was it. I clung to the hope that I could spend money, endure surgery and rehab and return but eventually I got to see the surgeon and found out that there simply wasn't a good surgical option for me. I'd damaged my knee permanently. Not especially badly but if I mistreated it, it would get worse and I knew that I'd hate myself in ten years time. So I made a sensible adult decision.

I very much did not want to make a sensible adult decision.

I had to stop NSOing. So I went to afterparties. I cried at every single one and eventually stopped going to those as well. I miss the sport. I miss the people. I miss the body that could skate and skate and skate for more than two hours and want to keep going at the end of it. I want to stand on the jammer line again and have a pack in front of me. I want to be part of that league, a skater with all the others, just like all the others.

Derby was many things to me. It made me feel strong and graceful and deft. It made me love my body. It put me in the midst of a group that gave me a degree of love and acceptance and validation that stunned me. I fell in love with it and with them and then had to walk away from it completely because I could not bear to watch it all happen without me. I've likened it to being around someone with whom I'd broken up but with whom I was still desperately in love and it seems that remains the case. Most of the time I put it out of my mind and kid myself that I'm getting over it. There are very few things that I've lost that I mourn so badly and so completely. So I still cry for it sometimes. I cry in ugly gulping sobs that shake my body and startle me.

I want it back.


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