The Smacktivist

My Pledge of Allegiance

My Pledge of Allegiance Photo credit: Donna Olmstead Photography.

I could feel my ears burning and my cheeks flush as I heard the announcers introduce the national anthem singer.

I prepared to kneel, acutely aware of the fact that I would be sticking out like a sore thumb, on the track, in front of internationally streamed media, representing my team.

But this is bigger than me.

This is bigger than you.

And it’s bigger than my coerced participation in standing to face a flag for the national anthem.

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport Photo credit: Joe Mac

“But what about derby?”

That question has been, without a doubt, the hardest question to figure out an answer to through all of this. And the one question for which I built my life around over the last 5 years, to not have to answer.

I Got Here, Now What? Part III: I Got to Practice… Now What?:

I Got Here, Now What? Part III: I Got to Practice… Now What?: Photo credit Deadwards

You’ve made it through to the final part of this series! If you need a reminder, feel free to go back over parts I and II, to make it through. But otherwise… keep on here.

And although it’s by no means the end of discussion for mental health tactics to make it through your derby career, this will hopefully get you through to the end of this practice. And maybe even the next. And so on.

I Got Here, Now What? Part II: What if I just can’t do it?

I Got Here, Now What? Part II: What if I just can’t do it? Photo credit: Deadwards

Welcome to the second part of the adventure series dealing with practice days when you’re negotiating mental health issues. This one’s right in the middle because in a lot of ways it’s the toughest.

First, you might want to review the first part in this series, which tackles ways to break down getting to practice while caring for yourself. 

This article is essentially about what you choose to do on those days when it really is too hard to make it to practice, because those happen. And how to also care for yourself through that – because that part’s important.

I Got Here, Now What? Practical Tools for Managing Mental Health and Derby, Part I: Getting There

I Got Here, Now What?  Practical Tools for Managing Mental Health and Derby, Part I: Getting There Image by Deadwards

Managing mental health in real person life is hard. It can be even harder to manage and work through mental health stuff when we are trying to train for and participate in a team sport.

I myself come from a place of having dealt with managing and recovering from a whole slew of pretty intense mental health issues throughout the course of my life, all while playing competitive team sports. So I have had to figure out, time and time again, ways to get myself to a place where I could be at practice or a game in a safe and (somewhat) focused way.

At base, talking about mental health is super important because it reminds us that we aren’t alone and it helps move our culture surrounding mental health away from shame and stigma.

So I’d like to share some of the things I have used throughout the years and that I continue to use to help get me to and get me involved in practices and games when I am having a Bad Day (or week or month), but still want to participate. This series is a three-parter, with easy step-by-steps to work through the hard parts of managing your health around practice.