Learning How to Fall

“Learn how to fall so you don’t hurt yourself.”

“If you’re going to fall, try and fall small so you don’t take others down with you.”


This was some of the advice that was given to me when I decided to give roller derby a try the other night. Yes, you read right, roller derby: Girls on roller skates, body checking each other while skating around a track – for sport. That roller derby.

It’s not necessarily something I’m going to do on a go-forward basis, but it had always been something I was curious about.

So when I ran across a Facebook event advertising a free roller derby “Try It” night, I signed up.

But I have a tendency of planning to go to things and then talking myself out of them, so I decided to take out a little insurance, and I convinced a friend to sign up as well. It’s easier than it should be to not show up when you’re only breaking a commitment to yourself, but it’s a lot harder when it means breaking a commitment to someone else.

But then on the day of the “Try It” night, my friend canceled on me! Her dog had ripped her dew claw and needed to have surgery. Which, is terrible for the dog and for my friend, but the biggest effect it had on me was that I no longer had a partner-in-crime to encourage me to go.

And it definitely created some doubts. Should I still go? Did it really matter if I didn’t show up? Did I really care about roller derby enough to go by myself? I wasn’t letting anyone down if I didn’t go…

Except myself.

I am way too good at talking myself out of things I want to do. And somehow, that night I overcame that problem and stood up to myself. I put on some workout gear, filled a water bottle, and went and tried roller derby.

And it was so much fun. And silly. And hard. And of course it would have been fun to share the experience with a friend and have someone you know to laugh with and commiserate with when I realize how bad I am at roller skating, but it was fun by myself too.

I got to meet new people, learn some new skills, and step outside of my comfort zone to have a little fun.

Sometimes it’s important to do what you want and not worry about having a friend as a security blanket. I would have missed out on such a good time and missed out on meeting some amazing derby girls. Because derby girls are something to aspire towards: They’re tough and strong  and independent, but most of all, they know how to fall and how to get up quickly after they fall.

These last couple of weeks have been tough for me and my motivation for things has wavered, from everything to my health to my blogging, but it’s time to pick myself up again and keep skating forward.


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