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Roller derby saved my soul.

Usually the time between Wednesday practice and the following Tuesday practice goes FAST (as in, where did the time go? I should've gone skating this weekend!), but today felt like a long time coming. Tonight, we find out our fates.

Now that the time has come, I'm not sure I'm ready for it to be over. I've made peace with the fact that I didn't pass, but I'm really sad about bootcamp (as we know it) being over, and the girls that I've gotten to know and learned how to skate with either moving on, or parting ways for the time being.

Derby relationships, like other sports team relationships, are not like regular friendships - you may be friends with some of the girls, and you may not be able to stand some of them. (Not saying that's the case with me, but just saying that it happens.) Regardless of how you feel about them personally, you learn to depend on them, and they learn to depend on you. They're the ones who will (literally) watch your back and knock down your opponents. They're the ones who will lend you a hand (to whip you) when you need an extra push. If you're a jammer, they'll take the hits for you so that you can get through.

I don't even know all these women's names, but I've learned how to trust them. They ask after me when I fall and they cheer me on, and I do the same for them, and I haven't always felt that this was true even with my regular friends - sometimes in our normal lives, we take for granted that someone we care about may need to be asked after or that they may need to be cheered on.

So, I'm sad to see this ending. I know that another bootcamp will come along, and this will start over, but I feel like we were a special group, and I'm sad that I won't be seeing some of these girls on a regular basis for a while.

Our coaches - best coaches ever: Panda, Denny, and Aim. They pushed us, but they also supported us. They made us laugh and taught us new skills and taught us how to reach down and find the derby girls hiding within.

It's been a real honor, and I've never felt more special, more talented, more badass than I have these past two months while I've been in bootcamp. I was coming off of maternity leave, postpartum depression, and a total lack of zest for life, and through SVRG, I've found something that I'm passionate about, and my life feels just that much fuller.