The moving countdown is at 19 days, and while I am sad and nostalgic for a lot of things, one thing I am seriously concerned about is the fact that I only have two more roller derby practices before I leave. My last practice is in Lombard on July 7, less than a week before my dad and I drive off. Once I knew our set dates, I visited the Rose City Wreckers page to see when their next orientation is. My heart sank when I saw I’ll be just missing one, being held July 11. The next one isn’t until Saturday, September 5. Given that I get to town July 17, I’ll have some time to kill.
There’s plenty of open skate times in the evenings at Oaks Park, the roller rink in Portland where the Wreckers (and the Rose City Rollers) skate. That means I can at least skate on my own and practice what I’ve learned since December. It’s just less fun alone, and one of my big motivators for transferring to Rose City is to meet folks at practice. The Wreckers hold practice three nights a week. Now, I could never, ever agree to that kind of time commitment here in Chicago — but starting out in Portland, it will be a godsend. Too bad I have to bide my time for a few weeks. I’ve just resigned myself to using that gap wisely and cross training as best as I can before orientation. To aid this, I bought a Groupon for a six week membership at a women-only gym in NE Portland, a 15-minute bike ride away from where I’ll be living. Those six weeks between my move and orientation had better be filled with me working out like crazy, having nothing better to do with my time in a city where I don’t know anyone yet.
Best laid plans, right?
I just hope the women in Portland are half as supportive, kind, and amazing as the ones I’ve been criminally spoiled by at Derby Lite.
I already know of a couple skaters in Portland, thanks to the internet, and the fact that both of them have written books centered around the world of roller derby. When I’m not working out and making myself leave my apartment, I’ll be working on my own book. For the last few months, I’ve been working on an outline for a memoir about skating and learning how to play derby. This plan may mean I’m writing less about the sport here for this site — but if you’re interested in being a volunteer chapter reader, I’ll love you forever.
I have a spreadsheet of things I need (not want, need) to do before I leave, and it makes me nervous, but mostly I am thrilled and exhilarated and anxious to get to Portland. I have a ton of things to be thankful for right now, and I keep reminding myself of those. I hate saying goodbye to people, but it’s also not as hard this time as it was when I left Columbus. I feel more connected to people now than I did then, and I worry less about our abilities to keep in touch with each other. It’ll just mean more Skype coffee dates and a little more time zone math than I currently have to think about.