Monday, July 4, 2011


In an ideal world I would be playing as much roller derby as possible, traveling and creating video. Some sort of unlimited funds would be necessary to buy all the video equipment, software, and resources I need, alongside unlimited time for the editing process. Those same funds would pay for travel expenses to attend every tournament, bootcamp and championship as well as living. I am far from this ideal which leaves me wondering, what the hell AM I doing?

Right now I’m sitting in the Iowa Public Radio office across from John Pemble as he renders a video on some local bands that I helped him produce. It’s 5:15 am and I am remembering what hard work and mental perseverance can accomplish. I’m tired and wish I was fast asleep after a night of partying, but in this insatiable world, instant results have better success.
All weekend I ran around a span of blocks in downtown Des Moines with a flip camera, getting footage of local and national music acts at the 80/35 festival. I’m ‘doin a job’ but love this close interaction with artists who are passionate about creating. Being here also reminds me of a lot of old friends and memories with bands that reconnect me with another time. It kind of grounds me for a moment as I think about things and people I once wanted in life and the direction I thought I was heading.
Listening to multiple artists talking about creating and doing what they love made me envious.
Driving in early on Friday also meant I got to log in some time with my dad, revealing how out of touch I am with my own family. It also makes me pressure myself into proving that I’m doing something with my life now that I’ve been out of school for over a year. Faced with the simple question of, “what have you been up to?” I find myself searching and only really coming up with “roller derby”.

Derby. Derby. Derby. If you’re reading this you can probably relate and are excited about all the things that have been keeping me busy. To outsiders of roller derby though, I can only imagine what it looks like I have been doing.  I’ve fallen deep into derbyland and have lost all sense of direction. I’m losing my creative edge and am forgetting there’s more to life. It’s not about giving anything up, but about finding a balance. I’ve definitely discovered what I am capable of and want to apply these things to more parts of my life.

Looking forward, July is a month full of derby even though this is the lull in our season. Although I am too poor to participate in the Blood and Thunder bootcamp that is happening later this week, as well as the Team USA preliminary tryouts, I will go up Saturday to watch other people play derby. The next weekend I decided to take up an opportunity to play some high level derby with the Mad Rollin dolls in Nebraska for a triple header with No Coast, Omaha and Ohio. Then the week after that is Rollercon. My excitement is squashed by the anxiety of stretching every penny and hoping I have enough for rent when I get back. It’s no way to live and I am the only one who can change it.

I go through these inspirational chats with myself every few months when life starts to catch up with me, so I can only hope that this motivation lives past the words on this screen. Going back to school may be the answer. Sacrificing some roller derby for a better paying job may be the answer. I’ve fallen into this gimme, gimme, gimme world of instant gratification and just need to buck up and make some short term changes that will have longer lasting effects.

Product from the weekend that I had the most hand in.

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