I didn’t mean to be like “yeah, I’m not gonna be head bouncer anymore, buhbye.” I have been thinking about it for a bit, as I said, but I realize I hadn’t talked about it before Wednesday. There was a lot that went into this decision.
Depression was a factor. When I was first able to walk around but I still wasn’t allowed to skate, I felt like EVERYTHING to do with roller derby was a huge chore (because I couldn’t do what I WANTED to do.) The November bout was the worst, because my friends who usually come didn’t, and I don’t particularly like the DSP bouts (it’s a smaller space, so I can do a lot of my overseeing from one spot, but if I have to move around it’s crowded and difficult and also there are stairs) and, I’m sure I mentioned, by the end of the bout I was tired and sore and grouchy. (Also, by the middle of the bout, I was all of those things. And not long after the beginning of it.) So that certainly got me thinking about stepping down.
Practicality was also a factor: I want a future with this league as a skater. I can’t be a skater and the head bouncer at the same time. It is recommended that hopeful skaters participate as non-skating officials (NSOs) because it will help them understand the rules, and I can’t NSO if I’m head bouncer. Also, last season I was unable to volunteer for 2 bouts. Not a big deal as a volunteer, a little bit bigger (though not insurmountable) as head bouncer. Not being HB would give me a little more flexibility.
Personal history was also a factor. I was involved with theater for seven years. Well, involved is not a strong enough word. I spent all my free, waking hours with theater and theater people and I got burned out on it. With other things I get burned out faster, but what I’ve learned is that I have a tendency to fall madly in love with something, try to drown myself in it for as long as I can, and then it gets to a point where I realize I can’t breathe and have to swim for shore. I want my relationship with derby to be healthier than that, and I think stepping back for a bit from my derby responsibilities will help with that. If I don’t get drafted in September, I’ll probably still end up volunteering every bout, but having the option not to helps with the suffocatey feels.
So my plan is to spend the rest of the season training my replacement, and then at the end of the season, I’ll step down as head bouncer. I’ll do the boot camp in the summer, try out in September, and hopefully get drafted to a team. If not, I’ll NSO or cover some bouncer shifts and skate with the rec league.
Tomorrow! DC Armory! Rollerderby. First bout without Solie and Cheker, and the Whips are looking to topple Scare Force from their top position. But before that, the Bombshells and the Demoncats duke it out and we get treated to a half time show of bellydancing! You want to be there.