I am Karmakaze

 

As a kid I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. Not a death sentence by any means, but it definitely impacted my lifestyle. I was told sports would not likely be an option for me, that pregnancy would be a touchy subject (I was 5 by the way…) and I would probably need a risky surgery. Whenever I did get involved in sports, I was told to “take it easy” “take lots of breaks” “don’t push yourself too hard.” A couple seasons of junior league soccer and a season of town-sponsored softball were pretty much the extent of my athletic career. Instead, I watched my brothers excel in their respective athletics; while I focused on academics and earning my keep by getting my first paper route at age 11 and official job at the Dairy Queen at 14.

 

In my adult life, I have developed an interest in health and wellness. With the doctor’s warning still ringing in my ears, I joined a gym instead of a team and started eating healthy. Most of my meals growing up came from a box or a can, quick and easy. Now, my food comes from the ground. I recently made the switch to a primarily plant-based diet…an herbivore. It’s as cool as it sounds, I swear. I think I spend more time preparing my food than eating it… my dad teases me, but it’s sparked an interest in him that I’m extremely proud of.

 

Throughout the years I have also developed a penchant for adrenaline. Up until last year, I got my kicks through migrating. My first soul-shaking-mind-opening-can’t believe-this-is-my-life-event happened when I packed my bags and moved to Europe. During that year I traveled to 10 different countries, met countless new friends and earned my Badge of Courage. One of my most treasured memories was catching my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. It literally took my breath away. I stood there with my three friends in awe, it’s when I knew that there was SO much more I wanted to see. To be.

 

Roller Derby has been my Eiffel Tower. From the moment I step on the track, I know I’m not in Kansas anymore. Between those lines, there is so much more to Be. There’s an energy that courses through the pack, like blood through veins, the jammers at heart center. Some blockers are looking to kill, waiting to pounce at the first whistle blow. Others are playful, but determined. Jammers are quick, rebound quickly and spend those 2 minutes a living, breathing target.  It’s all very exciting!

 

On top of the opportunity to hit people, be part of a team of amazing women and get fit doing it, the piéce de résistance for any derby girl is her alter ego name selection.I wish I had a neat story behind my name, but really… it was just a play on words. Karmakaze. I just thought I was being clever. I have since been told it’s the name of a band, defined by Urban Dictionary as: a person charged with the suicide mission of delivering instant karma, and the pen name of a fan-fiction author. For me, it’s the perfect balance of fortitude,determination, retaliation and all around badass-ery. I push myself daily on a physical, mental and spiritual level thanks to this sport. Take that Dr. Brogle: I am Karmakaze.
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