Nerd in Transition: Life After Derby, Venice, and Sugar

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Nerd in Transition: Life After Derby, Venice, and Sugar


a blogumn by Kelly Kaboom Lett

kellystunnedThe view out of my front windows is gorgeous, it stops me all the time. Day or night my hillside perch keeps me enthralled. As you may or may not know, I recently moved from my beach home in Venice, to a lovely little cottage in East LA. I reside comfortably upon the side of what can rightly be termed a foothill to the San Gabriel Mountain range. On a clear day I can see all the way to downtown Long Beach. Out my left window are rolling mountain tops, dotted with a thousand little  houses. My right window frames LA County Hospital in all its isolated dominance as it dispenses inadequate care to the ill and suffering. It’s been raining for the last few days, leaving the air clear of smog and dust.  Across the way the thousand little houses are lit up and I am admiring my electrical constellations.Wrapped in my leopard snuggie I am pleased with this progression.

If you have been following my blog you know that there are many changes taking place in my life. Nerd in Transition sometimes feels like an understatement. I’ve moved out of Venice and into  a little cottage in East LA, retired from active team skating for the LA Derby Dolls, lost my favorite dog, confronted my cousin’s lung cancer, and swore off sugar. I felt like it might be time for an update.

The first question most people ask is, so how’s life post roller derby?

I don’t know.  Other than the fact that I don’t have to be at multiple practices each week and am no longer required to work games much of my life is still controlled by the Derby Dolls intense schedule. I continue to coach the Jr. League and have taken it upon myself to add a bi-weekly advanced class to the already standing weekly Saturday morning practice. It had to happen, the girls have been begging me for over three months now to teach an extra class. The thing about pre-teen girls is when they want something from you it doesn’t matter who you are, they are the most effectively manipulative creatures God ever created. Preteen girls find emotional buttons fast and have no shame in using them, for me it was a barrage of constant praise and begging.  So I caved, agreeing to give up two Friday nights each month for the little bruisers.

With the majority of my friends being rollergirls, planning a social event has proved difficult. I’m dying to have a housewarming party. My place is only 700 square feet, I’ve had bigger apartments, but this is an individual house it deserves some warming up. I figure that it would it be madness to try and squish all my friends into the cottage (I’ve got some big friends be it size or personality).

So a set of Sunday brunches is what I settled on. Unless your fresh meat guest has practice on Sunday, perfect right? Yes well, every weekend this month there is something going on at the track — BIG somethings. The season opener, derby prom, tryouts for the two all-star teams, tryouts for the sub-pool and the regular teams, just something constantly. Okay I will push the housewarming back from Dec. to Jan and now to Feb. One day I’m just going to bite the bullet and do it! Just announce a brunch and those that can come will, those that can’t will miss out on mimosa’s with fine homemade vittles.

This housewarming is important to me. Sharing my awesome new place with the awesome people in my life brings joy to the house. To go along with that joy I am ready to announce the name. I name everything important, my car is the Gray Goose, my laptop Dellbert, my favorite houseplant is George, so the house must be named. Picking the name wasn’t too difficult, it’s getting folks together in celebration that is. This is just a brunch, I couldn’t imagine trying to plan something big, like say a wedding, around the Dolls schedule. Good luck with that, Snakeyes.

On December 5 I played my last game and officially retired from skating. You know what I did afterwards? I sat down.

Sometimes I changed to a reclined position. All the while continuing to eat like a rollergirl if not more. During the month of December as I sat through the holidays I went from a size 10 to 14.  I know what you’re thinking, didn’t you just give up sugar? Weren’t you going all gung-ho on the diet and exercise? YES! for a whole week I was on point! Writing down everything that went in my mouth while working out everyday made for one feel-good week. I even managed to drop the water weight making it possible to get into those size 12 pants; provided I was lying flat on my back, sucking in my breath while tugging at the zipper.

And so what if I had to wear the biggest shirt I could find to cover the ring of fat forcing itself over the top of those pants? It rained all last week, nobody batted an eye at my huge Irish sweater, in fact people complimented it.

All is not lost, though, I have gotten three books about juicing from the library to go along with my own diet and healthy recipe cookbooks. Today I made a week-long spread sheet detailing what to eat and when along with daily workouts. In a few minutes I’m going to head to the store and stock up. I have not given up. Damn you sugar! I shake my fist at you!!

Now on a more serious note. My cousin Tami was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in October. At the same time my life was moving up the mountain hers was facing the valley. I literally got the call while lugging boxes up the stairs. Thanksgiving had us all around the big table for the first time in years. She looked great. She sounded great. She really is just great. Without going further into detail she is facing this in the strongest, most positive and spiritual way possible. I’m very proud of her.

Transitions are hard. Facing a multitude at one time is harder yet. This blog just sort of skims the surface on what I am learning to deal with. There are other things going on that I just haven’t brought up yet. All the big dramatic moments are done for now. It’s time to start handling the details, that place where the Devil lives.