The LA Derby Dolls have sent out a call to action with #WhyISkate to all members of the roller derby and roller skating community to come together and showcase the diverse and inspiring stories that empower this community. While it rings true to the mission of the LA Derby Dolls, #WhyISkate goes beyond the league barriers and seeps into the global culture of skating. Skating is a lifeline for those who participate for various reasons, and we want to highlight the positive impact that skating has on people’s lives.
Here are just a few stories we’ve received for #WhyISkate.
Roller derby is a place where I NEVER have to apologize for who I am; I can embrace the parts of me that intimidate people in “the real world.” Let’s be real. I have a STRONG personality and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea! Knowing this I live with a little voice inside me, frequently asking annoying questions like, “Did I come on too strong? Did I take that too far? Should I have just not said anything?” On the track, all of that goes away. I can be as aggressive, competitive, sassy, loud, and fierce as I want to be! And that’s pretty close to perfect, if you ask me. Getting to be my authentic self. That’s why I skate.
Remix to Submission
Growing up as a female athlete, you are rarely allowed to be good at a sport without a qualification. You might be great at ______ (name almost any sport), but you are only great "for a girl." Derby doesn't allow that kind of thinking. You don't have to feel lesser than because you are a woman. When you are good, you are good. Period. No ifs, ands or "for a girl."
I skate because it's really fun and it makes me feel cool.
I skate to reclaim what was lost. In my school days I was a determined athlete who overcame many challenges to compete. Being an athlete was an integral part of my identity; I designed my future around sports. In 2002 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and it was like I had died. I felt as though everything I once was I could no longer be. I got tired of fighting so hard to do every day things that I did something I never did before - I gave up when things got hard. It was small things at first but once I started to give up, it became easier to give up the next time. Skating has helped me begin to break that habit. Again, it was small things at first; I fall down, I get back up. I get pushed, I push back. Now I am frequently challenging myself to conquer new skills, to be faster, to hit harder and be a better teammate. This willingness to be challenged bleeds into my life outside of skating, allowing me to reclaim what was lost and rebuild.
For more inspiring stories search for #WhyISkate or follow us on Facebook for more updates.
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