Thursday, May 18, 2017

How I got into Roller Derby


I spent about 8 season as a referee for women's roller derby. I have always liked skating from my youth skating at Elsmere Roller Rink. I got away from skating in my teens sometime and when I was 26 and single (after Kathy walked out on me) I wanted to get myself over the relationship. I saw a pair of rollerblades on sale at K-Mart and bought them. Our street, Calburn Court, was a one-block long cul-de-sac with little traffic. I strapped on the roller blades and started slowly skating up and down the street. It did not take long before I was cruising along pretty well. 

I have found that whenever I'm down in the dumps going back to something from my past was always a good pick me up. I think it is because at my core there are a few activities that make me truly happy; playing with trains, roller skating, and riding my bicycle. 

From then on I have always done some sort of skating. For many years it was both roller blades and ice skates. I owned a set of each and used them regularly and could skate pretty well on either. One night I was at Christiana Skating Center and I saw all of the people leaving with luggage and skate bags. I asked what was up and a girl told me they just finished roller derby. I remembered roller derby from my childhood and told her that was cool. She said they needed refs and I should come out and give it a try. 

At the time I had a girlfriend named Diane Horan. She was living with me and our relationship was failing. Before she moved in we had the best times. We went places and did things and every minute was fun. When she moved in she wanted some things done around the house. I gladly did them because I wanted it to feel like home for her. As time went on she became obsessed with making everything in the house perfect. This was a huge task and I am indeed handy and can do most anything with some tools and my hands, but I did not have the drive for perfection. Good enough was well above living in a ramshackle house but way below perfection. Diane became so obsessed she was pushing me to my limit. During the summer when I was off work she stated that she expect me to work 30 hours per week on home improvements. It was out of control. 

I have always been a learner. During this time I tried taking harmonica lessons and Spanish lessons and Diane told me I was wasting my time. She didn't want me doing anything unless she was in charge and it was productive to her standard. She was also obsessed with sleep and going to bed early. She would not stay up past 9PM to do anything with me. 

This was the case when I met the roller derby people. I was at the rink myself getting in some skating time. They told me practice was Monday and Thursday from 9-11PM and I figured what the hell. She would be sleeping anyway, so I signed up. It turned out to be fun and I stuck with it. As time drug on Diane and I had more and more difficulties until one time she demanded I order Danny to paint the upstairs and I refused. That was the straw that broke the camel's back and she broke up with me. Roller derby probably didn't help either. What a terrible waste of my energy it was trying to satisfy Diane. She is probably never going to find happiness because she is always searching for perfection and too worried about everything. I am glad she is out of my life. I feel I have found a balance between good enough and everything else in the world. 

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