… feet can’t keep on the ground. Can’t stay in one place. Keep moving like a bullet train…
… like a bullet train.
Life moves quickly, summer moved so quickly.
46 days until Team Canada tryouts, and my life has been all but focused on that end point as of late.
My life has gone through quite a bit of change this year, new derby team, new job.. new everything.
I made the difficult decision to end a relationship this year. Something that I had been thinking about for a very long time. I wish I could say it was a mutual decision, but it wasn’t. Each day I sit with the weight of my decision on my shoulders, 6 years of a life that’s now black and white and in the past, like a limb that’s since gone numb, it’s there.. but it doesn’t move. I realize how selfish I was in making that decision, but know that at the end of the day – I needed to make myself happy and healthy and find myself in a good place.
I moved out of our house, and stayed with a friend for 3 weeks as I went on an odyssey of sorts.
I flew out to Calgary and helped my family move and decompressed and reminisced about my old life before marriage – the family, the friends. I hung out with my high school friends – the commune – and had a fantastic morning of brunch, pokewalks, froyo and macarons. The weekend filled my heart with messages of support and just the overall presence of amazing people in my life.
Then it was Rollercon.
It was amazing. Simply amazing. Skate park with derby heroes, skating with and against derby heroes.. crossing things off of my derby bucket list. Shooting a Barrett M107A1 sniper rifle in the morning and then playing ALL the derby in the afternoon! I was so amazed that I could keep up with such high level skaters and not die, and did I mention I got to announce a few games? It was so much the amazing experience. I just remember standing in the middle of the main hall one day and smiling to myself about how incredible it was to finally be there.
Then it was a week to find a place, which I did. Spent the rest of the week acquiring furniture and then suddenly it was off to Cloverdale to play against the Smokin’ Laces.. and boy, it was a tough game for me. It was my first away game where I knew I wouldn’t be coming home to the same house at the end of the weekend and not only that, my co-captain Ruby Roughhouser, had also broken her leg before the game. It was.. mentally and physically tough to play, but I finished the game with a smile on my face.. ready to take a bit of a break.
At that point I was starting to feel very much like a hobo, traveling was wearing on me and I just wanted a place to hang my hat at the end of the day.
Moved into my new place the week after the Cloverdale game.. and it was off to Victoria for a family reunion… and what a reunion it was. Note to self, bring earplugs! It was wonderful to see family again, especially family I don’t see very often. Getting to do a road trip with my Brother and his family was great.
I got to stand on a ferry and look out into the ocean and think about how much life has changed in the past year, even in just the past month and how much it’s going to keep changing.
The only constant in life is change.
I realized that I did make the right decision – and though it still weighs on me, it weighs a little less and less each day. My anxiety lessens each day and I smile a little bit more and more, I finally feel like I can be myself and not feel like I have to filter my personality.
Now, that most of the chaos is over, it’s time to focus. Time to focus on putting the pieces together, finding myself and focus on those impending tryouts.
I’ve had such a life-changing summer, and it’s been quite the adventure… sometimes I look back on my instagram photos and facebook posts and I still can’t even fathom the things I’ve done… I hope there’s only more on the horizon.
I’ve kind of hummed and hawed over what I wanted to write here… turning 30 seems like this weird foreign thing that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around… but at the same time, age is only a number.
If I could go back and have a conversation with myself on that 20th Birthday, I would tell myself a few things:
- Your real friends are the ones who stick around no matter what. No matter if you come and go and find new friends, your true friends are the ones who will welcome you back every time, they don’t judge you (though they might make light of your life choices). They become your second family, and sometimes know you better than you know yourself. Those friendships will help you grow and you’ll realize how amazing those people in the next few years.
- Relationships do not define who you are. Yes, a relationship may seem important, but who you are with does not define you. A good relationship can add purpose to your life, but it shouldn’t be the only purpose you have.
- You are who you choose to be. In the past 10 years, I’ve been able to explore so many different opportunities because I’ve followed my passions. “Cars aren’t your entire life?” , “Skating is just a phase?” I guess I’m not very good at listening, because I followed my passions. I’ve gotten to work within an industry that I’ve always wanted to, I even got to try out for a national team (and I plan on doing it again). Follow your heart, find your feet and you’ll be impressed where you end up.
- Find someone who makes you the best version of you that you can be. Yeah, sometimes it can be a headache, and sometimes he seems like a pain in the ass, but without him, I don’t know where I would be. Dave has this way of pushing me out of my comfy bubble, he knows how competitive I can get, and he helps me be the best person I can be.
- Simple things are sometimes the best things. A dance party when you clean your house, people watching at the mall, sunshine, the feeling of freedom on skates. The beauty in life is in the simplicity of something that can bring a smile to your face. Life can get complicated, just stop and smell the roses once in a while.
10 years is a long time to figure things out, people grow and change, life moves quickly. I can only hope that in the next 10 years, the journey keeps taking me to amazing places. Let’s go!
There’s this song that has expressed my relationship with skating since I first put skates on my feet over 10 years ago.
My Way Out – David Usher
Roller derby was by far not the first obsession I had with skates.
First it was short-track, and this man:
I’ve written endlessly on how much Apolo Ohno has influenced my life and my training as a skater even to this day, and I can only hope to build even just a small percent of myself as focused and disciplined as he is as an athlete.
Knowing the reality of my life and understanding that skating short-track would never come to fruition, I strapped on a pair of rollerblades and skated anywhere and everywhere. I skated all over Calgary, used skates to commute to work, to the gym.. Skating was all the things to me. I even accumulated a small collection of road rash scars from my escapades on rollerblades..
… life sucks? skate.
… need to think? skate.
….. everything is AWESOME? skate.
I’ve lived my life on skates for as long as I can remember, and unfortunately every time I did put on a pair of skates.. it was always too late to make a competitive difference in my life. I never got to be that short-track skater, I never got to skate inline speed skating races or aggressive inline..
… and that’s where roller derby was the difference.
Roller derby afforded me the opportunity to finally bring out the athlete hiding in me, the person that I’ve wanted to become since I laid eyes on that one short track race in 2002. It got me to places that I had never heard of, met amazing and fantastic people and helped me cross off a big thing on my bucket list which was to try out for a national team.
I didn’t make the team, but hey… I now have another goal which I work towards every day.
Skating was no longer just the escape, it has become my life. A life that I need no escapes from, where I can skate as fast and as hard as I can with a shit-eating grin on my face, knowing that yes… I am free.
This is my way out, and it’s fantastic.
Yep, it’s definitely been a while since I’ve blogged.
You know those New Years resolutions that people tend to forget about weeks later, yeah.. that was one of them.
Life just took over, scheduling all the roller derby, training for a triathlon, work, personal life… it’s been quite the busy year!
I’ve been doing lots with roller derby, project life, training and cards and I hope that I can keep up with this blog better than I have before.
Last Friday was the opening night of the long awaited latest chapter of the Fast & The Furious franchise. I, like many others, was curious to see how they would handle the passing of Paul Walker, aka Brian O’Conner. I wrote about Mr. Walker after his passing in 2013 (https://thelancergirl.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/the-fast-and-the-furious/). It was the very first time that a celebrity’s passing had an impact on my life, Paul was truly a car enthusiast like any one of us.
This song is part of Furious 7’s soundtrack, and the video is a wonderful tribute to Paul and his character Brian. It continues the feels that can be felt during the last moments of the movie and you can see that the emotions are very real for the cast.
I’ve been singing my praises over Google Play Music for nearly a year now. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to find so much amazing music as I’ve found over the year. The other day, while studying for an exam (and doing some creative writing at the same time), I decided to use Google Play Music’s radio feature on “All Along the Watchtower” – Alex Da kid Remix (yes, I know I know.. a remake)
I really like the remake, and would listen to it over and over until I’m entirely sick of the song.. but I digress.
“Bad Moon Rising” (which is yet another remake), came on the playlist and I was sucked into the low and deep vocals along with the dub step-esque backing track (and I do love me some dub step-esque music). It’s soulful, steamy and a really good listen. Bonus points because it was actually a song used for one of the Walking Dead previews!
A long long time ago, I fell into this circle of friends… not quite entirely sure how I got there, but… there I was. Y’know those puzzle pieces that just, don’t quite fit… but you try to make it fit?
Yeah, that was me.
As my life fell apart… like it seemed to have done on a yearly basis between the ages of 18-21, I vividly remembered something that one of those so-called friends told me.
“There is more to life than cars.”
While I can agree with that, I will have to mention this…. without cars, my life wouldn’t be what it is now.
I have a bit of an obsessive quality in my personality, I get super-passionate about something and it becomes the only thing I can think about.. skating, wrestling, cars.. if I was interested in it, at one point.. it was the only thing I could think about. At that point in my life, my life was cars… I had just gotten my drivers license, I was attempting to save up for my first car. In my head, having a car meant freedom, it meant that the only rules I needed to abide by was the rules of the road (and we all know those rules are merely a guideline 😉 ).
Needless to say, those ‘friends’ I had didn’t stay my friends for much longer, and me… I said fuck it, and followed my heart. I wanted to work in Automotive Marketing, I wanted to be part of that industry… I worked my ass off, and everyone knows.. the harder you work, the luckier you get.
I got to be part of the automotive community in Calgary, a big part of the Mitsubishi scene in the 403, worked with dealers, clubs… I got to meet Dave, who I then moved out with and got to move on to much bigger and better things.
… all because I followed my bloody mother effing heart.
I look at the pieces of my life right now, things that people said I’d grow out of, things that people said were a phase… and I’ll be honest, I don’t see any of those, i see all the epic things that I’ve been able to do, amazing people and journeys that I’ve been able to go on…
… and all because what?
Nobody sees the world through your eyes, nobody knows how you process or what your motivations are. Find your feet, follow your path, because people WILL doubt you, people will think you’re crazy and obsessed, but y’know what.. that’s their energy they’re wasting.
You do you, and don’t worry about what anyone else says.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART!
Yesterday it snowed in Kelowna, and it snowed so much that it broke a decades old record!
I love this type of weather when I don’t have anywhere to be, it was fun to watch the snow keep coming down and down, but not so fun shoveling the mass amounts of snow or poking the snow off of the Pinto tent. School was cancelled, highways were a mess, but everyone hunkered down and it doesn’t appear that there were any terrible accidents yesterday.
And now we wait for it to melt!
– Until then…
So it’s been a while since I’ve posted a card on the blog, and one of my resolutions this year was to blog at least once a month… so here’s a blog! haha
I bring to you a 4 in x 4 in card, the base is Bazil basics stock (as well as the purple and the yellow paper), the polka dots are from the Doodlebug design fruit stand 6 x 6 paper stack (it’s an amazing stack, you should totally get it!), the greeting is from Stampin’ Up’s Perfect Pennants. I added some little clips from the dollar store to add some interest.
The 4×4 size of card is a neat size, I’m enjoying the format and will likely make a few more 4×4 cards.
2014 is nearing the end, and to reflect on the year that was… I figure I would write about a few awesome things that took place in 2014 …
1) I did a mud run and then played roller derby in the same day (capping off a 5 week streak of derby games – starting with a tournament!)
I have played more roller derby this year alone, than the previous 4 combined. Most of which took place between April and May. I also issued a challenge to myself at the beginning of the year to finish a mud run, so I trained accordingly for the demands of what my body needed for many derby games and a mud run… but what I didn’t factor in, was playing a game AFTER a mud run.
I was asked to play with the Revelstoke Derailers after the Kelowna MST run, and being the fool I was, I said yes! My first mud run was quite the experience and I’d defintely do it again! The challenge was to get home, shower off and get all the mud off of myself and then sit in a car for 2 hours and then get un-stiff to play the derbz. Well, I did! And came along with the Derailers as they claimed victory against the Kamloops Wreckers.
This year has been a great year in roller derby, I have had such fun skating with the Sun City Sirens and the Thompson Okanagan All Star Team (annd anyone who wants to pick me up! 😉 ). Between home games, tournaments and scrimmages, I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of this amazing Okanagan roller derby community.
I’ve learned that I LOVE tournaments, and I love the physical challenge of training my body to see how far I can run, how fast I can go, how much I can lift. I can’t wait to see how much I can push myself in 2015!
2) I finished school!!
I’m done, done, done done! No more working all day in code, and then going home and coding (unless I’m working OT, which seems to be happening a lot this week). My last semester was definitely the hardest and most trying just dealing with program requirements and taking 2 courses at the same time, but I feel so great and so much lighter and happy to say I finished school!
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! Seriously, it is! I got back into Lego in 2013 and 2014 I started to collect more buildings, I even annexed the train table to give my Lego a home and now I have my little city (as yet un-named) to build and it’s been a great hobby that I’ve taken on. I love building the sets I get, it’s a great way for me to get working with my hands and more about spatial awareness. Also, I *think* I’m getting Dave into Lego, so I’m hoping it’ll be a fun hobby the both of us can do 🙂
Santa was awesome to me this Birthday-mas and I finally have a few modular buildings to add to my modest collection, I look forward to posting a small tour of my lego town for you guys!
4) Rose City Wheels of Justice
THIS TEAM. omg. Watching their rise to the WFTDA finals was amazing, and with the late season acquisitions of Serelson and Rivas, it just made an already strong team.. SUPER strong. I love watching Scald Eagle jam because she just exudes power, something that I’m trying to work towards is to be powerful.
They took such a fight to Gotham that nobody has ever done before, and it was amazing to watch this team come together and be strong and be there for each other in this amazing moment. My heart broke for them in that last jam, but I know they’ll take what they’ve learned and become even stronger, and from them, I draw inspiration to become a better team player, and become a skater.
5) Skating Park
To me, this is easily one of the highlights of the year… getting the balls to go to the skate park and mess around in the ramps and jump all over things. Skating park has opened up a whole new avenue of things to do on skates (and I LOVE skating, skating is the best). I love getting up early, having the park to myself with tunes in my ear and just jamming around on anything and everything I can think of. I am by no means a pro skater, but I love park skating and can’t wait for the snow to melt so I can skate MOAR!
6) Going home for the holidays
For the first time since I moved, I was able to go home and celebrate the Christmas season with my family, and boy was it a whirlwind of a trip. Did some last minute shopping, helped with cooking and wrapping gifts and I still was able to do some work-work while I was there. It was nice to be able to celebrate my nephew’s birthday with him and to be able to participate in the Christmas Bingo as well as being the Santa for this year. It definitely was awesome to be able to spend time with my family and see their faces when they opened gifts, and awesome to see the amusement on my nephew’s face when he was opening gifts. It was definitely worth the wait, and hopefully I’ll be able to afford to be out there more for the holidays.
2014 was a great year filled with amazing accomplishments, some difficult times (being injured sucks), trying times and of course happy times. I couldn’t fit everything that I would love to write about in one blog post, but I look back at the year and I smile at the good memories that were made and look forward to making even more.
Thanks for the memories everyone! Let’s make this year even better!
– Until then…