In Part Four I talked about what happens when life creates challenges that cause you to evaluate and make changes to your lifestyle. How, in my case, I gave up my management position, but eventually found another way to be involved with the skating world by working security, or crowd control, on Friday Nights. I left that part of the story with having to eventually give up Friday nights as well. But then I eluded to a possible involvement when I started following Roller Derby. This is where I will step up and tell that part of my story.
It was in the spring of 2017, and my daughter, the one that manages the rink, called and asked if I might want to help out with Roller Derby as a Non-Skating Official. They needed volunteers to assist with the Memorial Day Mayhem Tournament. Eventually, I said I would give it a try if they could show me what needed to be done. That was my introduction to Roller Derby and being a Score Tracker during bouts.
That tournament was a blessing in disguise. I really enjoyed myself! After the tournament I told the head NSO that I was willing to continue helping out whenever they needed me. This tournament had been with the Chick Whips Junior Roller Derby league.
I was given the opportunity to work a few more bouts in 2017, including one or two with the Capital City Crushers. In 2018, I became much more active. I worked the Memorial Day Mayhem tournament once again. I also went to South Dakota, Junction City, and even to the War on Wheels tournament in Salina. I also went to Wichita and helped out there once.
There were other bouts in Topeka as well, both for the Crushers and the Chick Whips. What I discovered was that I had been welcomed into a large, extended family of people that accepted me for who am I. No questions asked, no judgment, and no pre-conceived expectations.
Over the past few months I have attended quite a few practices and have been allowed to participate/assist with the process. I have even begun the process of becoming a recognized NSO with WFTDA. There is a lot more to know and understand than you might think. Between penalties, signals, timings, and scoring, there is a lot of information to process and commit to memory. I studied and took my first test with the idea of just becoming familiar with what it would take. Now it is time to get serious and be successful.
Now you know my story of A Life On Skates. It has gone full circle. From discovering Roller Skating, to working as a Floor Guard, to joining the Management Team at the rink, to having health issues that forced me to back off, to finding Roller Derby and getting involved.
The whole point of my story is that if you find something you love doing, then grab it and hold on for the ride. When obstacles, such as health, get in your way, then look for other ways to stay connected. That is what I have done with my story. I grabbed hold back in 1970 and 49 years later I am still finding a way to belong. Every step of the way, whether it was a high or a low, has been worth the journey. I wouldn’t change a thing.
To a life worth living, I can only be thankful for the joy I have experienced along the way.
May each of you find something in your life that is as fulfilling as what I found and will continue to enjoy as long as I possibly can.
I hope you enjoyed my story!