Plain. Honest. Simple.

About

My name is Venus N. Vee, I’m 45 and have been training with my town’s local roller derby team, the Mission City Brawlin’ Betties, for a few month’s now. My dream is to someday be a full-fledged, bouting member of our team. Within the last year and a half I’ve lost 175 lbs. I spent a good 10 years of my life living with very little freedom and imprisoned by a body that would not cooperate with my inner dreams. There was a time in the not too distant past where simply walking across my living room was a *major* challenge.

I’m a wife, a mom, and so excited about my new found health and freedom. No longer plagued by a heart condition, pulmonary problems, Type II Diabetes, anemia and sleep apnea, I’m finding new and different ways to live my life to the fullest.

I spent the first part of my life, until I was 17, on roller-skates, skateboards and surfboards. I let a bad boyfriend shame me out those things I loved and am only now beginning to take them back. Wish me luck. It’s a little crazy at this age to try and join a roller derby team. But as my mom reminded me just this morning, I’ve always been a little crazy when it comes to dreaming in grandiose ways.

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5 responses

  1. J

    Hi…I am hoping you are still doing derby. I really could use some advice.

    I just started Derby about one month ago. With the Oly Rollers. I used to be really good on skates, however it seems that with the 150 lbs of extra weight – well, you know how that goes.

    First off, I couldn’t find any knee pads for myself. I had to buy velcro to put on extensions. That sucked. But I moved on.

    But I am getting VERY discouraged. I have lived a VERY sedentary life over the last few years. And this is SO hard. As you know. My problem is, I can’t even skate anymore! And my worst fear? Falling…not because it hurts, but because I can’t get back up. It’s like my stomach gets in the way and my legs are just too weak.

    I started doing the 200 squat challenge online to try and build up some muscle, but I really feel like a failure. There have been a couple of cancelled practices…but no one told me so I drove the 53 minutes to the rink only to find out that evryone else knew. I have never been one of those people that got left out…And I am feeling like the fat girl in the corner who no one wants on their team.

    Another practice tonight…I am just so scared of failure…and of quitting. I hate this feeling and could really use some advice from someone that is there and seems to be a darn good job of pushing forward…

    February 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    • Venus N. Vee

      I so totally hear you. I used to skate a lot in my teens and stopped around 17. Didn’t take it up again until last October and I’m 45 now, so there was quite a lapse in there. It’s way more difficult now than I remember it ever being. And yeah, not a lot of people really get what it’s like to be a fat girl attempting derby unless they’ve walked in these shoes.

      There will be modifications you’ll have to make to accommodate your needs (from knee pad extensions, to understanding your limits). Since there’s not a lot of role models out there, you’ll have to trust your instincts when it comes to understanding your limits. It will be harder for you than most of the other women out there. That can feel really discouraging at times. For me, I’ve consoled myself with a quiet pride that it’s harder for me but I still keep doing it and exercising an iron will. Like you, I’m not one of those people who normally exists on the outskirts, but I’ll be honest, it has been that way much of the time since I’ve started my derby journey. And the truth is, my journey by nature is in many ways different than everyone else’s. So because of that, my experience is bound to be a little more loner than everyone else’s. It’s my job to realize this is the nature of the beast and not because I’m not loved as much as the skinny girls. Again, something most can’t really understand unless they’ve been there or are going through it, like us.

      Falling is a major fear, and it’s not unfounded. When you’re a big girl, via nature of physics, there’s a lot more damage to be done when you fall than if you weigh 110 lbs. So again, it’s about understanding and *respecting* your limits. There are certain things I’m still not willing to try balls to the wind because the consequence ratio still feels to high. This doesn’t mean I don’t push myself into my uncomfort zone – because I do. I do things that regularly scare the shit out of me. I skate until my heart is pounding well past the point of recommended target heart rates, until I’m dripping with sweat and until my legs feel like they’re going to give out underneath me. But I stop short of making myself throw up, or attempting something that my mind believes will absolutely result in injury. There’s a difference between being badass and being dumb. And this is where much of the work lies. Only you will truly know where this balance is for you. And it can’t be measured by what everyone else is doing, or what level everyone else thinks you should be doing at any given time. Most fat girls I know, have a very high tolerance for pain. It’s important to know what yours is, then adjust accordingly.

      Getting up is still a challenge for me and I’ve been doing this now for three months. I’m to the point where I can jump up quickly and get back on my feet, but still can’t without putting my hands on my knees, let alone on the ground. If you’re like me, you’ll have to absolutely get to the place where you let go of what you think everyone else’s perception of you is, and start judging yourself on your own progress – and not where you “think” you should be. I have an awesome mentor, and even though she’s one of those 110 lb. girls, she really seems to understand my body. She helps me break down everything I’m working on into smaller microsteps. For instance, working on getting up – when I’m off skates, I get down on the ground many times a day and try getting up by placing my hands on one knee to support myself. When I’ve got that down, I’ll be trying it on skates, and when I’ve got that down, I’ll be trying it without hands. Baby steps. 🙂

      I’m still afraid of failing and afraid of quitting. The thing that keeps me going? One, I know this is one of THE BEST things I can be doing for my body and I tell myself daily that it’s just as much about the process as it is reaching the goal. Two, I know that this is some major juju soul work I’m doing here. I have over-developed many of my mental capabilities throughout my life, while development of my physical capabilities have gotten left behind. I’m 45, and if I’m going to try and reach some sort of balance between the two, then now is it.

      Hang in there love. What you’re attempting may be turning out to be something different than what you thought you were signing up for. But nonetheless, you’re here now and probably for a damn good reason. You’ve got something to prove to yourself and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to do just that. ❤

      p.s. You might want to try hooking up with a more veteran and sympathetic team member and see if she'd be interested in mentoring you. Having support is critically important, as well as someone who's going to be straight up with you about practice times. 🙂

      February 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm

  2. Joie

    Thank you so much…I literally feel like crying! I needed to hear these things. This is the 3rd time that no one has bothred telling me that practice was cancelled, and I have driven the hour to get there. And I was even told this time that there WAS practice. So again, that feeling of insignifigance is beating on my door. And I have never been one to let him in before…so this is rough.

    You really truly make me want to keep going. If it’s not with the team I am with now, maybe with an underground team. It is hard work and I want to get to the point where I am making progress. I want to feel accepted on the team, and I need to find someone to be my derby mentor. I am going to definitely keep watching your blog!

    You are pushing me to keep trying…thank you SO much!

    February 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    • Venus N. Vee

      xoxo
      ♥ ♥ ♥

      February 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  3. I would love to talk to you about how you lost 175 pounds. Would you be willing? My email is shauntagrimes@gmail.com. Still in big love with your blog!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:14 am

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