One of my fantasy escapes involves through-hiking Route One. Like other people plan on hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, I imagine taking a solo walk from the Maine-Canada border 2,400 miles down to the tip of Florida, and writing about the changing (or not-so-much changing) landscape.
My other fantasy is being a roller derby girl and kicking some ass.
Last night, I actually tried out for the local derby league.
Image stolen from the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.
I found out mid-day that there were try-outs that evening, and I signed up before I could chicken out. While I'm a competent rollerblader, I had never used quad skates before. I borrowed skates and equipment, and heavily-tattooed girls with names like Bruiser and Vixen and Shrieking Violet put me through my paces for over two hours, showing me how to fall and push and whip around a polished concrete track.
There was also an interview portion of the try-out. After an hour and a half in the rink, two women asked me why I wanted to join the team; it took me a moment to remember. I said, "I have an autistic four-year-old at home, and I have some aggression to burn off." They nodded and said, "Oh yeah, Jammer's kids have Asperger's or something. We're like a big support group here."
I didn't say that since the break-up of my playgroup, I've been feeling lonely and in need of some local friends.
After more than two hours of aggressive skating, the Fresh Meat was expected to do a speed test: five laps in one minute. I was surprised I was able to make it in 1:07 as tired as I was (I had also run for about an hour at the gym that morning). Then they thanked us all for coming and said they will announce who made the cut sometime next week.
Even if I don't make the team, I'm proud of myself that I tried out, and survived without serious injury. I did it for myself, to see if I could do it. And I did it in spite of the fact that my husband strongly disapproved of my decision - he feared I would be carried out on a stretcher, and I think my antics gave him an anxiety attack.
If I do make the team, I'm not sure I will join, because between buying equipment and paying for insurance and dues (and potentially medical bills), it becomes a very expensive hobby.
But a really freaking cool hobby.