I’m Not Sorry — And That’s How I’m Gonna Roll

“If you fall or get knocked down, just get up quickly and start skating as fast as you can.” —Annie Oops, Assistant Coach for the Cen-Tex Sirens Roller Derby League

Fall or get knocked down? Yeah, I know all about that.
Get up quickly and skate as fast you can? I can do that, I thought, I’ve had some experience with this technique.

Weeks ago, I found out about a local Roller Derby League that was having open recruitment, something I’ve always wanted to do. So I went. And needless to say, I’ve fallen in love. I feel like a teenager that’s all atwitter with the endorphins of a new crush, hardly able to sleep, eat, or simply go about my day without it taking over my thoughts. Aside from some hard earned bruises, sore muscles, and a new collection of really cool fishnets, I’ve also gained a new perspective on things.

For the last few years, I’ve been struggling to “get up” after being knocked down by the death of my husband in December of  2007. I went to therapy, I got out of the unhealthy rebound relationship that I jumped into in an effort to dull the pain, I moved closer to my family, and I tried to focus on making the best life I could for our daughter and myself. I did this the only way I knew how — stumbling along the way, trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. My whole life I had been a leader, full of focus, direction and drive. And then, like being hit by a Mack truck, I was on the ground — dazed, confused, and with my confidence shattered into a million pieces. All I could think about was what if something happened to my daughter? What if I got into another relationship and he leaves me, too? How would I manage? How would I survive? I was no longer focused on anything other than my insecurity, my loss, and the lack of passion that now defined my life.

Not only had I lost my husband, but I lost my toughness. My swagger turned to a slump, and I struggled to keep my shoulders pulled back. My type-A overachiever attitude turned to a go-through-the-motions, get-through-the-day routine. I found myself being much more apologetic… about everything. I worried more about what people thought of me and went out of my way to let them know I was a nice person — so that hopefully they would see, and I just might believe — that maybe I didn’t really deserve what happened to me after all.

Three and a half years may not seem like “getting up quickly” — but I know for certain I’m ready to roll now. By no means am I saying I’ve got my toughness or swagger back entirely, but I feel like I’m faking it pretty good. I have faith that eventually it will just be who I am — defined entirely by me and not what happened TO me. I have an incredibly loving and supportive man by my side. My daughter is healthy, happy, and as well adjusted as a mother could hope for. I have absolutely nothing to complain about and everything to be grateful for.

So I’m ready to play again.
I’m ready to compete again.
I’m ready to be a part of a team and have people depend on me for support.

I’m up, and I’m ready to skate as fast as I can, knock somebody else down and not have to say I’m sorry.


6 responses to “I’m Not Sorry — And That’s How I’m Gonna Roll

  1. A very similar thing happened to me a decade back when I lost my brother. Cancer got him, and I went into a tailspin. I went from relationship to relationship in a drunken haze. I fathered a beautiful daughter, and she got cancer too.

    It took me a long time to kick my demons to the curb, but I did it. And I think you realize you can too!

    • Thanks for sharing this. I find strength in people like you. Sending Love from Texas, Megan
      p.s. You keep supporting and writing about your local Roller Derby!

  2. When I fall, I always get back up. I’ve done it all my life. You and I are very similar in that regard. Have fun.

    P.S. Don’t ever be sorry. Be who you are.

    • Yes sir, I’ve seen you after you’ve fallen. (I remember those pins in your arm, tough guy!) I have so much respect for you, Gregg, and I’m glad to have you in my life.

  3. hey its larry — saw this site for the first time — WOW! your words are powerful.
    Have you heard of Eckhart Tolle? If yes, did you read the book called “The New Earth”? I’m 110% you would greatly benefit. If no, do a little research…

    okay, i found this review on amazon of another book of his, The Power Of Now.

    The New Earth book is an easier to read/understand book vs. Power Of Now.
    I could go on and on about how Eckart came into my life (actually my family’s life).

    anyway… we all have much to learn and figure out. its always easier said than done, but happy to see you rolling (uhm, “charging” ) forward 🙂

    take care

    • Thank you, Larry. Yes, I know Eckhart Tolle… actually have The Power of Now on audio. You’re right — there’s a lot we don’t understand, and I guess this is just my place to work it all out as best I can. It feels really good to be charging again, too. Lots of love to you and your family. -m

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