Typically, my friends would describe me as the person who would dive into anything feet first. However, it took three fated moments with a fellow derby skater (looking at you, Sassy) to finally get me to come to one practice: a friend’s party in August of 2015, a concert in Philly a month later, and finally at a Rockstar Roller Derby booth for Royersford Community Day. It was finally at that point where I said to the universe: okay fine. I attended one fresh meat practice in January of 2017, and let’s just say, I tried. My new fresh meat skates sat in a closet for one year. It was the first thing in my life that I gave up on immediately. Doubt and fear are complex emotions: they can overtake the most reasonable thoughts. I have found the root of my doubt & fear: I can exist outside of the preconceived box of what society thinks I should be. Derby taught me that I deserve to take up space. Derby taught me that my fat self is more able- bodied and strong than I ever thought it could be. Derby is evidence of the power of women who lift one another up, screaming encouragements until the powerful Doubt and Fear are just meer mumbles within yourself- that alone is how Sassy and Merdermaid got me back into roller derby one year after that fated first practice in 2017. Sometimes I imagine that I’m giving society the big ole middle finger every time I strap on roller skates. Just come as your beautiful self to one practice (just bring a mouthguard!) and give it a try. It’s so nice to prove yourself wrong.