“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

A couple of nights ago, I took the track with my home team, and we had a great game. We’re now going into the Championship game undefeated, we had a ton of fun, and we played together as a team. I even got to jam a couple of times–something I rarely get to do in bouts–and pulled down an average of 19.5 points per jam, heh.

Then, I went into the green room, took off my gear, came back out to the track where my travel team-mates were warming up, and told my travel team captain that I would be stepping down from the team.

I went to hang out with a gaggle of other skaters after that, and when a few of them commented that I wasn’t at TT practice, I finally started saying it. And, every time I explained why, I felt more secure in my choice. People were remarkably understanding, and said things like, “good for you,” or that they respected me for making that choice, or that they admired my self-awareness.

The right kind of support means so very much, in times like these.

Playing roller derby often means making sacrifices. You might spend less time with your loved ones, you might miss birthdays because you’re bouting, you might skip out on that vacation or adventure because you need to rest your body, or because you have to make attendance. Being on a Travel Team is all of that, on an even higher level, and more civilian-life sacrifices can mean that things start to fall through the cracks.

And, sometimes, there are civvie-life sacrifices that you simply can’t make, no matter how important the derby mission feels. There are times when you realize that, as much as you want to do all the things, and give them your absolute best, you find that you simply can’t make it work–not right now, and not the way you want it to. And it kills you to know that you can’t realistically give all of those things the passion and the energy that you wish you could. It’s the kind of thing you lose sleep over.

(yes, I did lose more than a few sleep hours, these past couple of months. And no, lost sleep doesn’t make you better at roller derby, or at life. Go figure.)

Being world champions is a dream that deserves more than a half-assed effort. Everyone on this team deserves more than that. And, when I think about how the past two months have been, I see a person who’s barely making it through each day, and I realize that I don’t want to be that person.

I don’t want to be the person who phones it in, who’s too bedraggled to play at her best. I don’t want to be the person who sleepwalks through drills, because her mind is a million miles away. I don’t want to be anxious and guilt-ridden about all the things I’m not doing for the team, or for my career, or for my relationships. And ultimately, if I can’t give this mission my absolute best right now, then I just don’t feel right about continuing to do it.

I’m beyond grateful to the people closest to me, who listened patiently as I yammered on and mentally wrestled my way through this. And, I feel lucky to have already received so much support and understanding, in the mere day-or-two since I made it official.

So, hey, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to focus more energy on fewer things, so I can do those things better. I sincerely hope that my life will settle down in the months to come. I’m kicking ass in my work, I super-love my home team and we’re going into Championships together and undefeated, and I’m going to be more present in every moment from here on out.

I’m looking forward to a hopefully-near-future, where I can do everything I love with my whole heart, AND my whole ass. 😉

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