It’s no secret; I play Roller Derby. I love strapping on my skates, working til I sweat and, you guessed it, hitting people.
But I’ve got another secret. I’m about to make it not a secret.
It’s game day (bout day, match day, scrimmage hour, awesome unicorn pony super time). And I’m excited to watch my teammates today (from inside the track cuz oh Jeebus I agreed to try reffing sweet mother why?). But my favorite part of today is happening right now. Literally.
I’m lucky. I get to help set up the rink for our big day. Even luckier? I’m usually able to be the first one here. It’s magical. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, offer to be the first at your venue next time you play.
No one else is here. It’s just me and this big empty rink. The bleachers aren’t set up, the merch table is currently still a merch bucket. The only sounds are birds and the occasional car headed up to the ski hill or the Valle for the day. But pretty soon it will happen. Skaters and volunteers will trickle in. The noise level will rise. The audience will cheer and skates will check and whistles will echo in the canyon.
Until then it’s just me and the possibility. The possibility that in a few hours someone will become a better skater than they thought they were. That opponents will become friends. That fans will become lifelong, or even better, teammates.
So don’t feel sorry for me when you see me drag my skate bag to my car at dawn. Don’t think I do it because I have to. This is the best part of game day. The magic of the possibility.