As the holiday season comes around, we hope you’re surrounded by friends and family, good food and, if you haven’t been too naughty, hopefully a present* or two. Being a derby skater gives us plenty in life to be thankful for, but it also makes us even more thankful for things we didn’t realize were quite so important to us before we started doing spectacular things on eight wheels. Here’s our list of things that Atlanta Rollergirls are particularly thankful for these days:
- Tampons- While many of us may be regularly thankful for their existence, they take on a new light of usefulness the first time you use one for a block-gone- wrong that ends in a bloody nose.
- Owning “too many” bandanas- If you’ve been skating for as many years as I have, there’s a period in your life when you needed one for every possible color/outfit you could wear to practice. Now, owning that many is SUPER handy for when the practice space is so hot and sweaty that you need a fresh one after the first hour.
- Honey, dates, electrolyte powder, blocks/gummies- After you’ve put everything you have on the track and you realize that there’s still 30 minutes to go, there’s nothing better than finding this in your bout kit for that second half pick me up.
- Athletic pants that keep me from looking like I peed myself- Black, specifically. Because as a skater, you will inevitably be hit so hard that you pee a little and you’re obviously not going to leave practice for that. Besides, it took long enough to find the right middle ground of “not so thick that I’m sweating to death, but not so thin that everyone is aware that my underwear has spots,” so they’re going to be used to the length of their usefulness, dampness and all.
- Skinny jeans going out of style- This is happening, right? Please lord let this happen. We’re mostly tired of leg prisons in general, but these are just torture.
- Bananas and peanut butter- At this point, most of us live off electrolytes** and protein. This is a staple in our pantries and carry-ons.
- The opportunity to wear myself out skating fast and hitting people when I’m stressed out or anxious- Therapy** is expensive. Endorphins and body checks* are not. Take that, problems.
- Epsom salt, arnica cream, advil- See post above about skating fast and hitting people, and this bullet writes itself.
- The memory of the smell of my pads that makes me reconsider eating a whole thing of Cool Ranch Doritos- Imagine that combination of hot practice space, endurance, heavy hitting, protein and Icy Hot. Yeah, we’re super thankful that you wash your pads (or are well aware if you didn’t).
- Socks- There’s nothing worse than going straight to practice after work and forgetting socks. You start to get surprisingly less creeped out when wearing someone else’s dirty socks after the first few times. I guess that’s something to be thankful for?
- Immune system- Sharing water bottles, dropping mouthguards on the floor (and immediately putting them back in your mouth), spending too much time in cars and airports, and Con Crud. Thinking about it, it feels like we should probably have died of germy-itis a long time ago, so thanks immune system for keeping us rolling!
*Good gear can be pretty expensive, now that I think about it. Maybe ask for it as a present?
**I am not a doctor or a dietician, nor should I be (obviously), so I hope these are taken with the jest intended.
Please eat good food, wear all of your protective gear and take good care of yourself, guys. We’re thankful you’re alive and well and look forward to seeing you again next season. Happy Holidays!