I made a big decision in December to quit playing derby. I gave it a good two and a half years, and it’s been an epic roller-coaster ride. When I started, it was to keep Megan company. I’d been rollerblading a few times, was enjoying ice skating and was keen to learn to roller skate. I signed up for freshmeat never intending to actually play roller derby. I love to skate and I’m glad I learned, but I never enjoyed the full contact aspect of derby. I don’t like hitting or being hit. Though, in honesty, it’s actually been really good to learn that getting smacked to the floor repeatedly really isn’t so bad – it doesn’t hurt as much as it looks like. I don’t mind the bruises and actually I am quite proud of some of them. They feel earned. Which probably sounds nutty to some.

I worry a lot about getting injured. I’ve seen more injuries in the two years I’ve played derby than in my seven seasons of ice hockey. It scares me a little. And derby has been hard on my body. People argue with me when I say I’m too old for derby. I’m not saying that I’m chronologically too old – at 42 there are people my age and older still playing. But my body is old and beat up. I haven’t taken care of it and it’s pretty wrecked. I have to be careful what I do with my poor body if I want it to carry me around for another 40 years. Last year I spent a lot of time in pain – legs, hips, back, feet, elbow (my poor elbow!). Just ask my massage therapist and osteopath. They are both very polite about the sport I play – they’d never tell me to stop, but they both support my decision that’s for sure.

Then there’s the intensity of it. Two hours, three times a week. In my busy life, that’s a huge time commitment. It doesn’t leave room for much else, and I’ve slowly given away other things I enjoy to make room for training. I’ve quit running, dancing, Sunday dates, gym classes, winter ice hockey, all for derby. In my league, part time is not an option. You’re either in, or you’re out. There is no middle ground, no “social derby”. One of the things I love about hockey is that I can do as much or as little as I want, and no one really cares. If I wanted to, I could skate every other day, go to all the trainings and camps, skate outside, practice my shots. Or I could just be mediocre and have fun playing once a week in the B Grade. I love that. It’s not an option in derby. Like I say, it’s intense. And not for me. Right now I feel like the love of derby got beaten out of me in the past year.

The problem is, I really love to skate! I wish wish wish we had a roller rink that I could socially skate with my family. In lieu of that, I’d love to be a roller derby referee. One of the things I loved about doing freshmeat was learning the rules. They are plentiful and complex and interesting. As a ref, I’d get to skate, and I’d have to really know the rules, and no one is allowed to hit me, and it’s free. Sounds perfect! It means I’d get to keep participating in a sport I really enjoy, and it’s something I can continue to share with Megan and Bronwen.

So maybe it’s not so much quitting as it is shifting from player to zebra. I’m pretty excited about that. I’m going to give it three months. Once the season starts in February I am taking a three-month hiatus to see how much I miss it. If I don’t, I know I’ve made the right decision. And if I do miss it, I can jump back in!


I started my blog five years ago today. I signed up with the intention of creating on online journal/diary for myself. I don’t care who reads it, I just wanted somewhere to collect my thoughts and deeds so I can look back at life and remember. At the time I’d been through a period of intense upheaval and I had no idea what direction life my would be going next. Obviously no one actually really knows what the future will bring, but I really had no clue – job, home, relationships were all up in the air.

I’m glad I started the blog – I love reading back. It isn’t very personal though, which is not what I intended. There is a lot of “I did this and that”, and “I think this and that” but not what I’m really thinking and feeling about things. I guess I’m reluctant to make it too personal – I don’t want to offend anyone and I want to keep some privacy. Which is funny since I’m really not a private person at all … “oversharer” I think is the word.

About the same time I started the blog, I also started using Facebook more, and I think it’s taken over the role I intended for the blog. It’s easy just to fire things up on FB – it’s a great summary of the life and times of Bebe Frayle. But there is so much noise on FB too. It’s not really adequate as a capturer of me and my life. So I’m going to recommit to this and see how it goes.

To help me refocus on my original goal I’m going to do two things:

  1. Turn off the comment function on the blog – if it’s just for me, why do I need people’s comments? I think they actually encourage me to censor myself because they remind me people are watching
  2. Disconnect the blog from Facebook and Twitter – I don’t really want to broadcast that I’m blogging

Let’s see how it goes…