Ask Jam Slanders Photo by O'Durgy, Image by Veronica Scars, Skater Trix Ann Riots

Published on July 17th, 2014 | by Jam Slanders

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Photo by O'Durgy, Image by Veronica Scars, Skater Trix Ann Riots

Ask Jam Slanders: When Do You Pack It In?

 Hey there Jam,

I am at a derby crossroads and I don’t know which way to turn. I have skated for 6 years and am a founding member of a league that I adore wholeheartedly. The problem is that I am not the skater I once was.  I was hurt last season and just haven’t been able to get back the same fire (or technical skills) to push me up the roster food chain. I am also a bit burnt out from league business responsibilities and I have had some other shifting priorities in my life. I have come to the conclusion that it may be time for me to pack up my skates. I have contemplated coaching but part of the reason I would resign from skating is to gain back some of my personal time.  Coaching would not serve that purpose.  I do not want to referee and I don’t think I can be impartial enough to NSO.  What is next for me in derby? Do I have to simply walk away from my friends and league mates?  Help!

Feelin’ the derby growing pains,

Lost in Transition

 

Dear Lost,

Retirement decisions are never light ones unless you’ve lost a limb or two to the sport (or gained an 8-pound suckling.) Given you seem fond of your league mates (i.e., this is not a fleeing-from-the-dramz situation), here are a couple of questions to ponder:

1. Is league business what’s burning you out? If it’s just that, maybe the skating will be more enjoyable without that stress. Try pulling out from more of it and focusing just on skating. (Although easier said than done, Jam addressed this in earlier columns.) Point is, your teammates would probably rather have you around in at least one capacity than in no capacities.

2. Is it the roster fight that’s burning you out? If so, think about pulling your name from consideration, or just not sweating it. You’ll be able to enjoy practices and scrimmages more without the tension associated with the roster. Also, is there a B-team or a rec league that you can still get your derby ya-yas out with? Then maybe you can keep skating without the stress (and perhaps less of a time commitment.)

3. Is it the ALL THE DERBS ALL THE TIME that’s burning you out? If so, now might be the time to step back from competition and being so involved. This doesn’t mean the end of your derby life, however. What parts do you think you will miss the most? If it’s skating, try to stay involved with a rec league or helping with occasional training duties, even if you’re not up for coaching. If it’s just your league kin and not the skating, well, I don’t know a derby league that turns away volunteers. Find what you love (helping with a website? training juniors? bout production? chatting up sponsors? putting together fundraisers?) and see if there’s a way you can stay involved with less of a time commitment. If you’ve been involved from the get go, I’d bet your team is willing to have you any way you’ll let them.

The bottom line is, if derby ain’t making you happy, you need to find out what the source of the unhappy is and see if you can find an alternative approach.

 

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Jam Slanders

Jam Slanders is here to tell you what to do with your life. She's here to answer your questions about psychological, interpersonal, and social questions and issues related to playing derby, training questions, and other fun stuff (just not how you can get rid of that itchy rash you picked up at your last afterparty). She consults with a broad range of skaters, liquors, and knowledgeable media sources (“Always bet on black!”—Wesley Snipes, Passenger 57) to bring you the answers to all of your derby-related questions. All questions you pose will be completely anonymous, so feel free to come up with your own fun pseudonym or Jam will make one for you. Send your questions to advice@derbylife.com.

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About the Author

Jam Slanders is here to tell you what to do with your life. She's here to answer your questions about psychological, interpersonal, and social questions and issues related to playing derby, training questions, and other fun stuff (just not how you can get rid of that itchy rash you picked up at your last afterparty). She consults with a broad range of skaters, liquors, and knowledgeable media sources (“Always bet on black!”—Wesley Snipes, Passenger 57) to bring you the answers to all of your derby-related questions. All questions you pose will be completely anonymous, so feel free to come up with your own fun pseudonym or Jam will make one for you. Send your questions to advice@derbylife.com.



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