How many times have you packed your workout clothes for vacation only to reflect when you return they were just taking up much needed space for souvenirs and shoes? Well, I have done it many times having been bit hard by the vacation bug the minute I land out of my normal routine. But this summer was going to be different. I was going back to the states for 5 weeks to visit my family and I packed purposely with all of my gear in mind, determined that I would use it if I was dragging it across the Pacific Ocean with 3 small children in tow.
I had already contacted the local derby league, The St. Chux Derby Chix, and was ready to roll once my jet lag wore off. This was much to the chagrin of my Mom who was still in disbelief that I would truck roller skates, pads and a helmet across an ocean. I think in her mind derby was the thing I did in Okinawa for fun and she was pretty shocked when I showed up with all of my paraphernalia. I had free, loving babysitters who were aching to see grand kids and loads of loss-of-personal-space rage that had to be unleashed. Trust me, it was better for all of us that derby was happening.
In a sweet twist of fate it just so happened the league practiced at the same rink I had spent so many of my Friday nights in 6th grade. However, the middle school drama jitters were not what was there tonight. It was the reality of another league. In the states. In St. Louis, home to some of the best leagues in the country. I was now wondering if I should side with my mom....what had I gotten myself into?
I felt 12 again walking into that rink. Hmmm. A first impression garnered support that they were of my kind. They also had smiles, similar gear and skates. I connected with my contact, paid my visiting skater dues, signed the paperwork and off I went.
The feeling was electric. They had a rink to practice on and a rink to skate bouts on. What a luxury! There were skaters helping from the men's team and there were benches for our stuff...it was a whole different world.
What wasn't different however were the skills, requirements and general supportive atmosphere of the league. I was learning to play the same game on another continent in another part of the world, yet we instantly shared a bond and had things to discuss because we all played derby. Seeing different drills and techniques could only lead to improvement and the ability to share them with my league at home would also serve as a great way to diversify our training.
I thank the Chix for all of their friendliness, encouragement, and skills that they shared with me, of which I was then planning on bringing back to my own league. Thank you for encouraging and supporting me, and welcoming me into the Chix as if I were one of your own pieces of Fresh Meat. You also helped me to proudly keep in shape on "vacation" and pushed me inches away from passing my MST. Literally. The practice there put me at 1/2 lap below 27 in 5....I was ready to head back home and knock it out. Souvenirs? check. Shoes? check. Kids? check. Skates? safely in my carry on.
If you'd like to check out the awesome women of the St. Chux Derby Chix, please follow this link!