Two weeks ago my roller derby league hosted International WFTDA Championships. It was a really incredible few days and I met some great people. It was a celebration but it was bittersweet. This was a culmination of years of work that serves as an end cap to my involvement currently.
I am a founding member of The Beerleaders, a cheer and dance team for The Brewcity Bruisers. I have been with my league since just after we formed eight years ago. I’ve been through the highs and the lows of the team and the growing pains of the league and the sport as a whole, but in the last few years there have been many changes and I’m ready to change as well. I have always known that I would write about my time as Robin YaBlind, but felt I should wait until an endpoint was in sight. I performed my last halftime dance at Championships, which was watched worldwide, and I knew that was a perfect way to end my time as a dancer. It was a routine I felt proud of, something I co-choreographed, and had many months to master. It felt really good, and it was the right ending for me.
I hope to work with the league in the future, hell I may even dance again if it feels right, but its finally time for me to change my involvement. This season I will be cheering only because the thought of not being Robin or a Bruiser is still too tough. To completely drop out of something that has been a major part of my identity for so long would be a shock, and finding ways to step out that still feels good to me was important. Though I am not a competitive person or an athlete, derby is so much to me and in January when our season begins I will also try boot camp. If it goes well I will try the rec league, a way to skate and be a part of the league without the pain of full contact or the pressure of bout day. Skating recreationally with The Bruisers is offered in sessions so if it really doesn’t work for me the commitment is minimal, and leaving won’t let anybody down including myself. I have to try derby so I never look back with regret. I’m ready to bond with a new team, The Bootleggers, and though my skating isn’t stellar – yet – it may lead to full on derby skating in the future. Who knows? We’ll see where this goes.