As I am preparing for my 3rd and final playoff tournament of the season I can’t help but reflect on the community that derby has brought me.
Today, I checked my email and was happy to see all of the posts in the tournament Google group of people helping each other get rides from the airport to the hotel. People willing to wait a few hours for another person so that they can share rides together.
Me, I’ll be driving with my good friend and road trip companion, Wishbone Breaker. She has been at almost every away game I have officiated at. Very few have been without her. And we might not have traveled together, but more times that not, we have.
Earlier this week we had been discussing our travel arraignments and at one point were talking about leaving a day early. This would mean another night on the road but a little less drive time all in one day. I was flattered to know that there were friends in Ohio willing to put us up for the night should we need it.
Every trip I am on, I hear new stories about how this official helped this official with something and the good karma seems to be passed along over and over.
We are a very trusting bunch of folks. The officials that is. I think this has a bit to do with the nature of the sport. Usually when we work a bout, the crew of officials is made up of referees and non-skating officials from both teams. We have a little over an hour or so to get introduced and start working together. We know what each of us are supposed to do and we trust each other to do it.
We understand each other. We know how tired and stressed someone can be after a long day of tournaments. We remind each other to sit, take a break, and eat. We share cloths and derby gear if you lose or need something. We offer hugs and shoulders to cry on. We make each other laugh and can be the best of dance partners.
I love my official friends, and skater friends too.