September 25, 2013 by alinedecat
Crystal Cutt from Columbia Quad Squad asked me to share this very intimate text, she wrote this for her former teammates who were moving on to the the playoffs. She had to retire the season prior. This letter is to help remind them of how precious the moment and playing this sport is…
I personnaly shared a tear because it was so easy to put myself in her shoes (or skates?) while reading this piece of her heart.
“I used to be a superhero.
Indestructible, focused, resilient, brave, and timeless. I was on a flight of self discovery; and came out successful. I found the freedom that I had been searching for, I found myself. I found it in derby. But it was a super fortunate discovery that didn’t come without a price. I felt as if were carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was heavy, it was hard, but it was worth it to be a part of something greater, and to find that same greatness in me that I never knew existed. For once in my life, I was separated from everyone else. My life had meaning beyond the mediocre. I was a chosen one.
We all dream of flying our entire lives. What it would be like to feel the wind beneath us. But in those dreams, we never think of falling. We never think we will stumble. We never think life will pull us from the clouds. But it can. And it will. I was blessed that I had my chance to soar, but then I took the inevitable fall. To be a superhero, you have to give more of yourself; more than a normal being is able to give. You have to push harder, you have to fly higher, you have to take hits, you have to be knocked down..repeatedly, and in the end, you have to get back up; regardless of your your own feelings. Is it worth it? Is it worth all of the extra time and energy to be what everyone else needs you to be? Is it worth neglecting yourself and your family for such a temporary glimpse of glory? Deep inside, we are only human. We need our time. We get tired inside. I said myself too many times, “I can’t do this anymore. I need to breathe. I’ve lost myself. I’ve forgotten why I started this fight.” And life took its course.
Losing derby is like death. You never know how it’s going to end, but you know that it will. Still, you are unable to imagine the demise. It could be family, it could be your age, it could be an injury, your inability to continue the struggle within your mind. And you not only lose yourself, you lose a family. You lose all that you worked toward for years. You think back to the hundreds of people who would cheer you on; and you wish that just one more time you could have that support again. But it doesn’t come. You long to feel the pain, the bruises, the headaches, the body aches, the cruel criticism of your coach screaming in your face. You miss feeling something. You miss feeling alive.
Its the excruciating pain of once again living like everyone else. Not standing out. And once again, not knowing who you are. Daily, the images I carry slowly slip away. I’m no longer known as Crystal Cutt. The ones who knew I played derby have forgotten and the ones who never knew will never know. I am the Clark Kent without a cape. My skates gathers dust, and so does my body. I find myself despising the world around me for holding me down, taking away my talent and stealing my dreams. It’s like someone has cut off my right hand. Many times I feel hollow. And it’s an irreparable void. I am left with only memories and regret. I wish I had made it to all the practices that I felt too tired to go to. I wish I would’ve pushed through those shinsplints. I wish I could have seen through the burn out. I wish I would have treated everyday like it was my last. But I took it for granted, because I truly felt that nothing in this word could pull me away from something I loved much. How could I have been so naive?
All I can say to the living that remain, is to cherish what you have right now, because it is a golden opportunity that you will reflect on for the rest of your life. Take in every sound, learn all that you can, push yourself beyond your greatest ability, and treat every moment like its your last time on wheels. You won’t regret putting your life into this, but you’ will definitely miss it when its gone. I know, because I was once was a superhero.
Crystal TaylorAKA – Crystal Cutt #217 (CQS) Columbia Quad Squad”