Thinking About Roller Derby

I wanted to love running.

Ben does. Practically every single one of my Facebook Friends does.

I gave it seven months. During those seven months in 2011, I ran about five days a week. By the time I finally quit, I could barely move. My legs and back hurt so badly, not just when I ran, but all the time, that I couldn’t stand up from my bed by myself. It never got better. The benefits never came close to outweighing the pain.

So, I quit. I had plans for a major relay race (the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey) that I bailed on. It’s taken me a while to recover psychologically from what felt like a major personal failure, but I’m ready to take on fitness again.

One more thing: fitness doesn’t equal weight loss. Sure, some people might find that their natural body size is smaller than their current body size if they add regular exercise and HAES-style eating to their life. Others might find that they actually settle at a higher weight.

The benefits of exercise are still there, even if the size of your body doesn’t change.

Let me repeat that.

The benefits of exercise are still there, even if the size of your body doesn’t change.

So, my goal is to exercise in a way that is fun and makes me feel good. I love to swim and I love yoga, but I want to try something in a group. I saw that my local community college is offering a Roller Derby basics class. How fun would that be? I love the idea of having a Roller Derby name like Ellen Page did in Whip It. I love the idea of going fast (something that never, ever happened with running!) and kicking ass and belonging to something bigger than myself.

I want to give Roller Derby a shot, even though I’m pretty sure that it will end up something like this:

Roller Derby is one of those sports that require quite a lot of equipment. Skates, of course. Safety gear. Maybe some cute tights with stripes. Luckily companies like Roller Skate Nation have starter packages that can save you some money. I like this one:

I think the green is pretty. I can kick ass in pretty skates, right? Right.

Roller Derby leagues usually have gear that people who want to try it out can borrow. My problem is that I have huge feet and I’m pretty sure that there won’t be an extra pair of size 12 skates. That means I have to make a pretty decent money commitment before I even get to try Roller Derby. The package above costs about $230, including shipping. I have never, not in years of looking, seen a pair of quad skates in my size at thrift stores. I could probably get cheaper skates, but I think that quality skates with good support is an important part of Roller Derby.

Roller Skate Nation sells skates in sizes up to a men’s size 12, which is a women’s 13. That’s great for people like me, who have big feet. Roller skating for everyone! That’s pretty awesome. Now all I need is a fresh meat kit, health insurance, and to gather up my nerve.

* * *

This post was sponsored by Roller Skate Nation. While I’m very grateful for their support, the ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.

* * *

Did you know that my first novel, a young-adult dystopian story called Viral Nation, is scheduled for release by Penguin Books on July 2, 2013? Click here to like my author Facebook page. Thank you so much for your support!