Published on August 10th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor7
Wreck Lass, GGJD, Photo: Manish Gosalia
Life After Junior Derby
By Sadie Solomon (Wreck Lass) – Gotham Girls Junior Roller Derby
Roller derby can easily become the center of a skater’s life. This has been the case for myself as a junior skater this is also the case among my teammates as well. Whether they’re 10 years old or 17 years old, junior skaters come together every week to play the sport they love, to better their skills, and to be involved in a community that supports them. A shared love and commitment is what connects this group of unique girls together.
Being young, naive, and often clueless, junior girls are amazed by the incredible community that derby offers. I have felt more welcomed and accepted than I ever have in my life. I am surrounded by fantastic role models and amazing skaters who show me every day how to be a good skater on the track as well as a good person off the track. I have realized that without the support my team has had from our league, we would not be where we are now.
With the amazing life the derby community, my team, my coaches, and my league have given me comes hard decisions and important questions though. As I enter my senior year of high school, the talk of college begins. I never wanted derby to dictate where I would go to college but the fact of the matter is, I don’t want to leave my league. A lot of this conflict comes from wanting to have the experience of going away for school but also wanting to be close to my league. But then I have to question if I would even be good enough to make onto the adult team. The idea of transitioning from a junior team to an adult team has always been scary and exciting, especially when you’re surrounded by some of the best skaters out there today, it’s sometimes hard to imagine yourself playing alongside them.
If I have learned anything from my teammates and my coaches though, it is to enjoy the time I have now on my team, to not worry about aging out of the junior league now, and to remember that no matter what Gotham will always be waiting for me. All I can do now is focus on school and on my skating. I have been given the confidence to trust that with hard work and dedication I can one day be good enough to get onto Gotham and can get into the school I want to go to.
It’s a beautiful thing when you find that special thing in life that gives you something to love, something to work for, and something to feel passionate about. I can say I am lucky enough to have found that thing. No matter the school I go to or the league I skate with, roller derby, and all that comes with it, will always be at the center of my life.