You know who’s great? This guy right here. ——->
Okay, so, many of you don’t know him (yet), but I’m a fan. He’s the guy who’s been enjoying my company,and my smooches, on a regular basis for close to two years now. He’s the guy who puts up with all my crap. And by, “all my crap,” I mean, “the fact that I’m playing roller derby all the damned time.”
I made it onto Fresh Meat two days after our first date, so he’s never really known me without derby in my life, but he’d seen a bout or three before we met. He already liked and respected roller derby, and was pretty jazzed to be dating a derby girl.
He’s the guy who gave me awesome hugs during those first few dark, dark months on Fresh Meat, when I felt horribly outclassed and wanted to cry after practice on a regular basis.
He’s the guy who never, ever makes the stinkface when I tell him I have to go to practice, instead of going to some fun nerdy thing with him.
He’s the guy who tells me when I’m being too hard on myself, and reminds me that, yes, I am awesome, and I can get through the rough patches.
He’s the guy who kept my spirits up when I injured my ankle, couldn’t skate for 2 1/2 months, and had to leave Fresh Meat. And, he’s the guy who was legitimately thrilled when I finally got to put my skates back on, and try out for Fresh Meat again.
He’s the guy who not only lets me drag him out to derby gatherings, but actually has a good time and charms the socks off of people in the process.
He’s the guy who actually asks me how scrimmage was, and wants to hear the real answer.
He’s the guy who was waiting by my car on draft night, when I got passed over, and still insisted on hugging the crap out of me, even though I said I didn’t need it. (I probably did, at least a little)
When I hesitate and say that I’ll “hopefully” be on a home team soon, he’s the guy who cuts in and says, “you WILL get drafted!”
He’s the guy who says that, after I get drafted, he’s going to “make lots of Shaolin Spocker signs and go ‘wooooo!'” And I know that he’ll actually do it.
He’s been my biggest fan since before I ever did anything to deserve having a fan.
I know it’s hard for some people to understand why we do derby. My mother, by contrast, isn’t exactly on-board with derby–she’s never been a fan of anything “alternative,” and thinks I’m going to get myself killed. She offered pay for my wushu classes, just so I would go back to wushu and quit derby. Obviously, that didn’t work–derby is a really demanding lifestyle choice, but I know that it’s what I want, and that it makes me happy.
I also know that a lot of people have it harder than I do–they have families who need to see more of them, or partners who can’t easily accept or appreciate what derby does for our hearts and our spirits. I know that I’m lucky to have someone in my life who isn’t mired in the derby world, but still understands it, and throws his support behind me 100%, every time, without fail.
So, hats off to my super-awesome man-friend. If there were a Most Valuable Partner award, he’d win it every time. ❤
And, hats off to ALL of the partners, families, and friends who are there for their derby-playing loved ones: the people who are in the stands screaming their heads off for us at every bout, the people who have dinner waiting when we get home from practice, the people who watch the kids for the evening while we’re tied up at committee meetings. We appreciate your support more than we can ever express, and it’s more important than you’ll probably ever know.
And finally, if you’re a skater who hasn’t thanked your Most Valuable Partner lately? Yeah, go give them a big hug. 🙂