We got booted out of our rink in summer of 2014. Now it's the beginning of summer, 2016, and we have been back in the rink for three weeks. So yeah, it took almost two years to finish the repairs. This is entirely because we were doing it with volunteer labor and practically no money. We had a wonderful contractor donating his time to us, and without him we would surely not have gotten it done as fast as we did. So please, please don't think I'm complaining about anyone who worked on the repairs. They are all wonderful.
But oh man. Two years away (we did have practices in the summer, so in fact it had only been about 6 months since I had skated), and it's really hard to go back. I found that I enjoyed having my evenings free. I found that although I missed playing the sport of roller derby, I didn't really miss skating that much. I found that I still super suck at skating backwards ... and that is one of the required skills. In two weeks, we're testing on the non-contact part of WFTDA minimums. Anyone who doesn't pass that will have to go to boot camp -- basically, go back to beginner level. If I don't pass, I think I will take it as a sign that it's time for me to do something else.
It's not all mental/emotional. There's also the fact that my bad ankle hurts pretty much all the time (not sharp pain, more of an ache). Or the fact that my pinkie toes are turned sideways and it's uncomfortable to wear shoes, let alone roller skates. Sigh. But here's the thing: if I retire from derby, I'll inevitably lose some of the friends I've made through it. I'm not saying people will just decide, "If you're not skating, you can suck it." I'm saying that when I'm not seeing people all the time, it will be harder to stay connected with them. It's not like I'm a social butterfly. I'll also miss the sport itself. I'll miss hitting people, and I'll miss being a member of a team. I'll miss being Dixie Skullpopper.
Well, I'm not giving up yet. I'm going to do my best to push through the pain when I'm skating backwards (damn shin splints). I'll try to get out of my head and just jump over the 6" piece of foam. (Those are the two skills I'm worried about). And if it doesn't happen ... well, I guess I'll need to find both a way to stay connected with my friends, and a different way to get exercise.
I don't think anyone actually reads this blog anymore, and I can't blame them -- I post to it about every two years. I wouldn't read it either. Well, we'll see what happens.