Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wheels of Change

Roller Derby Is The Greatest Sport Ever. There, I said it. I am a runner and always will be. Even if I never take another stride for the rest of my life, that fact will never change. It isn't running that I regularly wake up having dreamt about. Well maybe I do, but I don't sit around on freezing cold floors just to watch other people get in their training miles. Unlike many runners I don't really care who ran what time. Don't get me wrong. I am pretty impressed with what people have been able to do and I intend to continue to push my running as far as I can take it. I love to run. Derby though…is a drug to which I find myself addicted and I don't even play. Maybe it is the team aspect that I find so appealing. Running, (specifically marathon training) no matter what way you slice it, will always be a solitary sport. My job usually leaves me with little to no interaction with other humans. When I am training I rarely run with anyone else. Most of the time the extent of my contact with other people is when I return home at the end of the workday and get to see my wife and daughter. What this equals is a lot of solo time. Solo time is good for thinking as I may have mentioned in an earlier post. Recently I was doing just that and thought that maybe the appeal of roller derby isn't actually the team aspect. Maybe it is because it is a sport (or at least it's current incarnation is) founded on passion and survives/thrives on the hard work of the people who participate. There are no big paychecks as of yet and only minor celebrities. It is not riddled with the drug scandals found in running or cycling. The cynic in me believes that there must be doping and there will always be some form of cheating but where's the motivation? It is an amateur sport fueled by camaraderie, the love of competition, and the sport itself, not a big payday. As a fan I can relate to these women and men. I see the sacrifices that need to be made to play as they juggle personal, professional, and home lives. The payoff is not a wad of cash but actually participation in the event itself. ROLLER DERBY IS PASSION AND PURE. That is why I think I can't get this sport out of my head. Professional establishments and athletes could learn a lot from roller derby. Until they do and change their ways you'll find me in the crash zone watching the only sport that really matters.