Lots of derby this weekend; doing it for 57

It was a very busy weekend for me. I had lots of event invitations and 2 derby bouts and a practice all scheduled. I didn’t get to do all the stuff I wanted to do. I did a lot of sleeping though! Basically all I did was the bouts and sleeping. because OH MY GOD SO TIRED. Luckily that should be a bit of a smaller problem now….

So. Derby. Saturday was the Free State home opener against Steel City Beamers. Black Eyed Suzies won. I line up tracked with Sailor Juphitter. It was a good game. Pittsburgh took an early lead but then the Suzies pulled ahead and stayed there. I zoomed out right after it ended to go to bed because several months ago I signed up to go to Downingtown PA for the DCRG-Brandywine bout. When I thought it was Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. Alas, it was Sunday morning. And I was planning on going up Saturday and sleeping at my aunt’s house but then I joined Free State and attendance at bouts is hella important (as a smaller league, most of the positions are still filled by league skaters who aren’t skating that day) and the idea of driving from Rockville to Downingtown Saturday night seemed like just as bad a plan as driving at 5am Sunday morning. So I did the second one. Bacon and I carpooled up and I pointed out all the horsies and cows in Pennsylvania and Bacon agreed that they were in fact horsies and cows. I penalty box timed and lineup tracked. These were also good games. National Maulers beat the Brandywine Brawlers, but DC Allstars lost to the Belligerents in a SUPER CLOSE bout with several lead changes and a couple tie score moments. Then back home to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Including through practice. Oops. This was one I didn’t want to miss, either, for a number of reasons, but I really needed to sleep. I went to bed at the usual time last night and slept through the night with only a 3 am bathroom break, too, so it’s better I didn’t go and possibly hurt myself or others with my tiredness.

#doitfor57: Last week the news was spread that a Michigan junior derby skater had taken his life. Sam Taub was a young trans man who had just started understanding his identity and that he was, in fact, a young man. He was probably scared and confused and feeling unsupported and unsupportable. At every bout this weekend that I participated and tons of others that I didn’t, people wore turquoise to show support for suicide prevention and held moments of silence to mourn. That’s awesome. I was proud to be involved. But that’s just a gesture. If all we do is wear some ribbons or stop talking for 60 seconds, we are failing. We need to remake the world. It’s important that children who are struggling can find help easily and safely. We want them to grow up to be adults. We don’t want them to be adults who struggle just as much or even more, and we don’t want them to fear the future so much that they prevent themselves from having one. We need to practice the inclusiveness that so many of us preach. Derby is a super-inclusive sport, but it’s not perfect, and it’s not so pervasive that by making derby better we can just dust off our hands and say “job well done!” Making derby better is great. But it’s not where we stop. (Do we ever stop? Since perfection isn’t really attainable, I hope not.) It’s really hard to change the world. You have to start where you can. Start with yourself. I know it’s easy to fall into being judgmental and harsh reactions. I do it all the time. And then, because I am trying to do better, I remind myself that whatever it is I’m being judgey about isn’t any of my business. It doesn’t affect me at all what someone wears, or doesn’t wear, or whether or not I can easily identify their gender, or if they’re fat or skinny. What matters is that they’re fellow human beings and deserve to be treated as such. And I try to encourage friends to do the same. I probably come off as preachy sometimes but I don’t mean to be. I know what it is like to suffer through depression, and only being receptive to negativity. I refuse positive comments about myself when I’m in a funk, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hear them, and file them away and remember them later when I’m not quite so deep in the hole. And it doesn’t mean I can take unlimited amounts of negativity. It does make things worse. We need to take care of each other.


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Filed under adulting, bout report, depression, derby, derbylove, feminist, humanist, I'm a nutter, mental health, officiating, political, stigma against mentally ill, suicide, talk of suicide trigger warning

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