I Joined a Roller Derby Team at Age 40

Do you ever think about whether you have any fun in your life?

I’m guessing that “fun” is not something that is very present in many of our lives. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the everyday stressors and responsibilities of parenting, work, relationships, and life in general.

It’s also easy for many of us to point to things like our community work, our volunteer hours, or other ways that we use our “free” time to help others as our “fun” activities. But what about doing things because they are inherently fun, even when the activity isn’t directly benefiting others? Like true, genuine, soul-filling FUN?

Enter: roller derby.

I have been fascinated by roller derby for my entire adult life. I loved roller skating as a child, often putting on my boom box to listen to my latest mix tape while skating around in the driveway for hours. There is something so joyful to me about roller skating. When my skates are on, I feel free.

The idea of being part of such a bad-ass sport centered around something that I knew from a young age I enjoyed was both terrifying and exciting. I attempted to go to practice twice in my adulthood before actually making it there. There is something intimidating about the sport, and I just kept chickening out.

The universe aligned this past April when my partner Kevin moved in with my daughter and I. Having a second adult in the house meant that I could attend practices without having to worry about childcare. I decided that this was the time to commit and show up.

And I am so glad I did.

I attended my first practice in May.

And it was love at first skate.

My teammates are incredibly supportive. No one ever makes you feel badly about falling (because everyone falls, it’s a full-contact sport!). Practice pushes me to become a better athlete. We take the sport seriously, but also find plenty of time for laughter.

Roller derby is one of the only “fun” things I do in my life that is truly just for me. I don’t have to lead anything. I don’t have a ton of responsibility other than showing up and giving my best. I get to just…have FUN.

Here’s to finding more ways to invite fun into our lives. In the end, we will not wish we spent more time working and fulfilling our responsibilities. We will cherish the times we leaned into our passions and made time for the activities that made us feel whole.

Love,

Alanis MoreUpset #1995

Shoreline Roller Derby League

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