When I posted to my semi-secret derby-only FB account that I'd retired, something like four officials immediately camped out on the post, collective chins in hands, and said, "So.
:D?" I still giggle about that.
I mean, I've been making noises about transitioning to the other side of the track for a while. My first SOT wrangler strongly encouraged us to help out as NSOs (non-skating officials -- so things like scorekeeping, penalty box timing, etc) whenever we were injured or otherwise off-skates. I discovered that I actually really enjoy that sort of thing; it keeps the analytical half of my brain engaged, the part that breathes a sigh of relief at Things Organized Neatly
and enjoys sorting/re-tagging my jumbled Evernote account whenever I'm bored. And being a skating official? Analytical stuff plus
zooming around the track? Sure, that sounds pretty sweet.
So earlier this month, I got in touch with the head ref about shadowing them during league scrimmages, with intent to join Team Zebra in the future.
This is how things went during my first scrimmage:
BUT. Here's the thing: unlike playing derby, I've got most of reffing's physical stuff down already. My backwards skating needs lots of work, yeah, but that just means some quality rink time on the weekends. I'm not slamming myself against a brick wall on a near-daily basis like I was as a skater. Health issues aside, mental challenges have always been way, way easier for me than physical ones.
(Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad I spent three years pushing myself a couple gazillion miles out of my comfort zone by playing derby. I credit it with a hell of a lot of personal growth, in addition to all that awesome muscle growth. But I always had to work twice as hard to be half as good on the track, and that is exhausting,
Reffing is like a fun logic puzzle. I can see the pieces so clearly, even if I can't fit them all together yet. And god, that feels so good after fumbling my way through the dark as a skater. I'm not a hundred percent committed yet, but, uh, I also bought a couple whistles and the pocket WFTDA rulebook this week, so who the hell am I kidding. >.>
New adventures, heigh-ho. Maybe I can still get that derby tattoo I wanted after all.