Our life in roller derby has always reminded me of a walk in the mountains. A challenging journey that takes us above the humdrum world. An all-encompasing adventure. We can look around on this journey and see others walking alongside us, some ahead, some behind, some on other mountain slopes altogether. Our friends and our enemies all walking together, and a thousand others we don’t even know.
Some have been walking for years, they walk because they simply want to walk.
Some have just started their journey and are jogging to get as far as they can, to catch up to those they see ahead of them, full of fresh energy and not yet settled into their steady pace.
Some drop in, 2 miles ahead of us and it doesn’t seem fair.
Some run a few paces then have a little rest, then run a few more. Flip flopping from wanting to get to the top and doubting it’s worth the effort.
Some hang out by the lodge, not really on the journey at all, but enjoying the company of those setting out or heading back.
There are those that walk because they have to get to the top, only to crest every peak to be met with another, higher and threatening more effort than the last. Each milestone becoming a disappointment at not reaching the top yet, rather than a benchmark of achievement.
There are those that find that they’ve been walking for so long that they don’t know how to do anything but walk. Their beards have grown long, they have nothing but the mountain left and they don’t even know if they like walking anymore, it is just who they have become.
There are those that chase the walkers ahead, desperate to be where they are.
And those that help the walkers behind so that their journey not be a lonely one.
There are those who stumble on the mountain and get hurt, and can no-longer walk any further.
And those who decide to set up camp right where they are because right here is the best it will be.
There are those that walk the shortest distance but with the biggest heart and truly double in stature.
There are those that find themselves; and even those that lose themselves.
But the big secret is that there isn’t a top, there is just the journey. We’re all on it for different reasons, and we’ll all end it when it is time, and start a new walk over on those other mountains in the distance.