“People don’t normally talk about what they struggle with, they only talk about the good.
Compared to someone else, I don’t feel like I’ve been through as much. It’s hard because I feel like I am very fortunate. I had a pretty good upbringing but there were also problems there as well. It’s lots of little things that add up – like pressure to get good grades, maintaining friendships. Looking back, I didn’t have good motivation. I just wanted to have fun at that point in time, and with different things going on I guess for me the fun was a bit of a run-away from problems.
For me a lot of that was me trying to fit into the norm. Trying to actually fit into a box, society’s box, ‘this is what you should do’ and ‘this is what you should be’ and it doesn’t suit everyone.
Once I started to find myself, part of actually working through things was me starting to push the boundaries.
When I came across Roller Derby it really caught my eye.
I really wanted to try something that was a bit different, I was never really into sport. I was looking for a bit of contact as well. I’d never really tried anything like that before. I started in 2011. I was really overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never worn skates before, maybe inlines when I was a kid but these are quad skates. The people teaching made it really comfortable, everyone is really supportive.
There is a New Zealand wide ‘team’, it’s called Team Crazy Legs Aotearoa and it’s for anyone with mental health issues, there’s a support page on Facebook if you feel like you need an outlet that’s safe. I feel like, especially in my league, we’ve definitely got each other’s backs.
It’s an amazing community of people from all walks of life. You get addicted, you want to come back. I’ve had injuries throughout my years of playing. Each time I’m like, “do I put my skates back on? Is it worth it?” and every time it’s YES. I miss it so much. I get such bad FOMO if I can’t skate.”