It’s not you it’s me, a farewell letter to roller derby

Dear roller derby,

I want to thank you for the amazing four years we’ve shared, I have loved you more than you will ever know. From the moment Kristin (you know her as Jonah Kill) and I first saw you in 2012, you sucked us in immediately. I was fascinated with watching the jammer (the scoring player) and vowed that would be me one day.

[ First game I ever watched, not the best photo to represent your amazingness, but I was in love. ]

In that moment we knew we needed to play this sport. We immediately joined the Fresh Meat program, learned how to skate, learned how to hit and learned how to be the most badass versions of ourselves we could be.

From Roller derby to decorating
[ First day of fresh meat, while I might look 12, I’m 33 here! ]

There’s something really compelling about you and the community you have built. You represent inclusivity, positivity and a shared cult-like passion for a sport we have all grown to love with an intensity that cannot be fully expressed to those not in it. It’s really all-consuming, but we accept that because we all love you so much and how you make us feel about ourselves.

I often wish I had found you when I was 19, as opposed to the ripe age of 33, but the truth is I found you when I needed you most. You helped me through the intense years of stress, anxiety and confidence issues. You were the three hour escape every week that allowed my brain to rest and help me begin to feel confident and strong.

Seriously though, it’s really not you, it really is me…

I had every intention being with you for one more season, but a month ago my intuition told me it was time to part ways. I can’t really explain it other than my heart just knew it was time hang my skates up to make space for new things in my life. Time to focus on a new chapter in my life. My new business, my passion and love for interior design and decorating. This new chapter has changed me in ways I never could have imagined possible, not unlike the some of changes you unleashed in me throughout the last four years.

Last Wednesday I had my last practice with the Death Track Dolls and last night I played my last game against the Kingston The Disloyalists. It’s really hard to walk away without feeling like a part of my identity is leaving me, but as my mother-in-law just said “Nope, it’s just becoming part of the fabric of you. It wears well.”

Over the last week I can’t help reflecting on the many amazing moments we’ve shared.

I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top 10 favourite moments together…

1. Becoming bionic after breaking my tib and fib (yes, it’s a highlight, it taught me a lot about myself).

2. Skating in the Fresh & Furious tournament following the leg break (our team got third place and the first time I heard my name chanted “Holllllyyyyyy Rooooockkkettttt” who wouldn’t love that?).

Toronto Roller Derby

3. Being the first recipient of the Louisa Kalimeris Heart Award, (awarded during the Fresh & Furious tournament as the freshie demonstrating the greatest heart, determination, and positive attitude).

4. Becoming a Death Track Doll! (I love my team so freaken’ much).

Death Track Dolls
5. Receiving MVP for every game I skated in the 2016 Regular Season.

6. Getting to watch my team and I on Rogers TV (although HD is a bit much, especially when your nose is busted up from a previous game).

Toronto Roller Derby Rogers TV
7. Skating with the All Stars in Pittsburg in 2016 (earning MVP!), then making the All Stars team this season (always a goal of mine and while I ultimately choose to step down because I had too much going on, my short time on the team was absolutely amazing and it allowed me to level up pretty damn hard – thank you All Stars!).
Toronto Roller Derby AllStars 8. Getting 100% lead against the Bandits in this seasons Semi-finals. (Read The Derby Nerd’s article about this game here.) 100% lead jammer status

9. Earning highest scoring jammer in this years regular season with 189 points (See The Derby Nerd’s full season standings here.) 10. Realizing that I’m tenacious and strong (more than I ever gave myself credit for) and what it means to be passionate about something.

While I’m really sad that we’re going our separate ways, I’m so excited for what’s next. I will be forever grateful for everything you have done for me over the last four years and all the amazing and inspiring people you’ve introduced me to along the way.

Holly Rocket #11

PS thanks to all the amazing photographers who are able to keep our memories alive with beautiful photos of the good, the bad, and the ugly [faces].

Toronto Roller Derby

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  • Amazing pictures! Loved your farewell letter, so touching. I can see you had the time of your life.

  • Thanks so much. It was the time of my life, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done 🙂

  • Damn !! I had no idea you were this good, that’s impressive !
    I’ve been fascinated with this sport for years but can’t quite bring myself to try. Maybe it’ll happen soon 🙂