Derby family is a phrase you hear a lot in the derby world. And it’s true. We’re this big crazy family. And it goes beyond your league. Your team, you league, that’s your immediate family. But head out into the world and meet someone from another league? They’re like a second cousin you’ve never met. It’s pretty awesome.

We hosted a clinic last Sunday. It was a very least minute affair. We weren’t sure if anoyone other than our league would turn up. We weren’t sure our league would turn up. But we had girls, and guys, from all over. Some were from River City Dames of Anarchy, who we bouted with last month. (For our first ever bout! We lost! But only by 39 or so. It was awesome! I was an NSO. This needs its own post.) Where was I? Oh yeah. So these ladies came up, a nearly 3 hour drive, at the last minute, because we said we were doing a cool thing (that started at 8 am btw) and wanted them to be there. And it was honestly good to see them. I didn’t get to chat with them as much as I wanted, but I’m glad they made it. And of course our next league over was there. We’re bouting with them on the 30th for our first ever home bout, and it’s going to be awesome. we’ve skated alongside them in a scrimmage, and last week when their practice space was unavailable, and then at the clinic. And it’s never been “omg we’re fraternizing with the enemy.” More like, omg we get to see you guys! I’m looking forward to our bout on the 30th for all kinds of reasons, but part of it is the after party and hanging out with these derby cousins of ours.

Of course, I realize this is a bit Pollyanna of me. there are leagues who share a city and don’t particularly care for each other. There are teams within leagues that don’t get along. Leagues come and go, because derby is hard. Not the skating part. The skating part is probably the easiest bit of it. Wrangling a bunch of amazing, and headstrong women? Organizing league (or even committee) meetings that work best for the largest number of people? Fundraising events, tracking down sponsors, making sure we’re by the book where it counts… that’s all hard. It’s what I call the dark side of derby. The paperwork. Figuring out how to pay taxes. Applying for our non-profit status. I can barely skate and I’d rather do ridiculous endurance drills than deal with the IRS. It’s hard and it’s stressful.

So what’s the point of this? I’m not taking my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant med. And I’m fine. I’m better than I was when I did nothing but stay at home with Mini Furious all day. I’ve got this amazing crazy family who makes my life so much better than it’s been the last couple of years. I’ve got a support system. I’ve still got therapy appointments on the books through early May, but I’m doing so much better. At the end of night, after the anti-Valentine’s dance we held, the guests were mostly gone, and it was just us and I looked around, and people were playing cards, and talking in little groups and laughing, and it was one of those movie perfect moments. After so much time counting the minutes until we could move away from Minnesota, now I’m a bit sad at the thought of leaving. We can’t stay, there aren’t any jobs for us here, and I’m not sure I could take another Minnesota winter. (At least my lungs can’t. I’m relying on my inhaler in a way I never have before. Hell this is the first time in my life I’ve had a like permanent, always with me inhaler.) But when we find out where we’re moving to, I will be finding the local derby team. It won’t be quite the same as my close knit bunch of rookies, but it will still be derby. And that’s a pretty good start.


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