Welcome to my life, my name is Michelle and I am a wife and mother of two girls Morgan 16 and Haley 11 and a son Jeffrey 25 that I was lucky enough to be reunited with. He was adopted and raised by a wonderful family.
If you follow my blog you will learn a lot about me and my family and some of the cool things I like. I live in Edmonton, Alberta but I was born and raised in the fair province of Nova Scotia. I believe home is where your heart is….
My children bring me great joy and of course with the joys of motherhood comes the gray hairs and frustration as well.
My husband Kirk and I have been together about 18 years and married for almost 14 of those. There have been many ups and downs as we grew and discovered ourselves but today I am happy to say that he is my very best friend. Nobody has the power to irritate me more then him but there isn’t anyone else in the world that I believe I am more perfectly suited for.
Writing has always been a passion of mine and Thousand Acre Heart is just an honest, open portrayal of my life, my experiences as a woman, a wife and a mother. It is redemption, acceptance and love. I will talk candidly about my experiences with adoption, marriage and motherhood, because there are no strangers here, just friends I haven’t met yet.
I called my Blog “Dancing in the rain” because I like that feeling of total abandonment of your inhibitions when you dance in the rain. It makes me feel free, and whole!
I invite you to follow me and come on a journey of self discovery with me. Hopefully we will enjoy lots of laughs and the occasional tear if you are a softie like me.
The “world in my coffee cup`is what this will be. Things I think about while I enjoy my coffee only now I will type them. Have a coffee with me and we will get to know each other. If it is five o’clock somewhere by all means pour something stronger, perhaps I will join you. Cheers!
With love xx
I joined Roller Derby when I was eleven years old. Instantly, the sport became my favourite activity. I wore my roller skates in the house, running into walls and bumping into appliances. I knew from here on that I would never stop loving the sport. After two years of bumps, bruises and unconditional love for derby, something changed, I began to question my sexual orientation. As a questioning and confused 13 year old, finding out that LGBTQ+ people were highly accepted in this sport came as a huge relief. I remember being at an E-ville game and hearing people talk about a player, and her girlfriend and thinking “She’s gay and they’re okay with it?”. When I finally did come out, my teammates and coaches offered me nothing but unconditional love and support. Along with support and love from coaches and teammates Derby continues to help me with things like my anxiety. Social anxiety has always been a huge problem for me, but I found that in derby, it wasn’t. I started with baby steps, such as asking the more experienced girls for tips. After a short while I began to feel much more comfortable and started having casual conversations with the girls. Before long, I had started making friends. Thanks to Roller Derby, I met one of my best friends, Morgan Mayhem. It all started while doing sprint laps. I had tripped and slid out right in front of her, and she jumped right over me! At our water break I skated over to apologize for almost killing her on her first practice. We started laughing and talking and from there on, she was my jammer and I was her 4.
The first time I heard about roller derby was when I was eleven years old. I was reading the Edmonton Journal over my mom’s shoulder when an article about the new Greater Edmonton Junior Roller Derby Association caught my eye.
“You will never, ever, ever play roller derby,” she told me.
I heard that derby was a full contact sport where girls skated around in circles and tried to knock each other over until there was only one girl left standing. This isn’t true. To play flat- track roller derby, five girls from each team line up on a circular track: four blockers and one jammer. All are wearing a helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads in addition to their quad skates. The jammer lines up behind the blockers. The referee’s whistle sounds and each jammer tries to get through the opposing team’s blockers. The blockers block- obviously! For simplicity, let’s just say that scoring points is basically a jammer getting through the opposing team’s pack. Obviously, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Yes, like many other sports, there is hitting and contact involved in roller derby. However, before you learn to hit, you learn to skate. And before you learn to skate, you learn to fall. I have never felt unsafe on the track. I understand that every time the whistle blows I could get hurt, just like in soccer or football. That has never stopped me. I love roller derby too much. Of course I have been scared or nervous. But I’ve learned that in order to be fearless you must first be brave- that is, doing something even though you are scared, not having no fear.
Joining GEJRDA when I was thirteen was a great decision. I have done several sports: fencing, diving, track, basketball, badminton, etc. I’ve played soccer for twelve years and counting. However, in the past three years I’ve learned to love roller derby more than any other sport I have tried. Part of this is having amazing couches and volunteers in our non- profit league. Another part is having the most incredible and inspirational teammates at my side. Roller derby is a small sport in Alberta, but we have some big spirit on our team! We are all very close and support each other on and off the track. I’ve made some amazing friends.
Since my mom told me that I will “never, ever, ever play roller derby,” she has been wrong about a lot of other things (I’m always right!). It is annoying when she swears that it will be cold out and makes me bring a jacket to school and it is the one day when I’m boiling to death. Or when she tells me I shouldn’t go outside to longboard because it will rain, and then it is sunny all day. I wish she was right about the weather more often. But, man, am I glad that she was wrong about me not playing roller derby.
The main thing I want people to take from this blog post is that I̶ ̶a̶m̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶%̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶m̶o̶m̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶l̶w̶a̶y̶s̶ ̶w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶. derby is an amazing sport. You will meet amazing people at games and practices. You’ll be pushed really hard. If you are considering playing with our league, it is worth a try. It might be the best decision you’ve ever made! 🙂
Dave McQueen was kind enough to send us this sneak peak of yesterdays Team Canada try-outs. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I am curious to know if the pictures can begin to tell the amazing stories that unfolded at yesterday’s try-outs…
As women we have the difficult task of being responsible for our own empowerment. For centuries we have strived for power in our personal and professional lives and the one thing we have struggled with the most is power over ourselves. So often we allow others to tell us the best way to act, to think, to feel and we unfairly compare ourselves to others instead of embracing our own unique qualities. What I have always loved about Junior Roller Derby is how empowering it is to young women. It allows them to explore sides of themselves that are not often encouraged in other areas of their lives. Instead of being told what is “ladylike” they are able to explore what makes them unique and powerful. They don’t have to be like everyone else, they can just be the best version of themselves. The freedom to explore their own prowess, their mental and physical capabilities as well as their own dynamic skills is in itself a confidence builder. So often in competitive sports elements of our missions become lost in the desire to produce results. Our aims and objectives become blurred. When mentoring talented youth athletes it is easy to lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with young ladies that are already facing a great deal of judgments and strife in their adolescent lives and that for most of them sports is an outlet, a place for them to be themselves. Instead of comparing them to their teammates and spotlighting their weaknesses we have a unique opportunity to build them up and encourage all of the things that make them special. I have always been a firm believer that critique works best when spun positively. Realistically, it sounds easier in print then it actually is. As adults we have experienced our own share of life’s hard knocks and putting a positive spin on things doesn’t always come naturally. Yesterday at Edmonton’s Team Canada try-outs a group of teenagers taught me incredible things about the power of positive encouragement. A group of young women competing against each other for a spot representing their country; playing a sport they love, were the number one cheerleaders for the opposition. Their bright lights shone not only on themselves but also on the accomplishments of their fellow skaters. Their joys and their triumphs were shared. I was astounded that a group of young women displayed a level of maturity beyond their years and an energy and character that I am envious of. To feel not only a sense of pride in their own accomplishments but delight in the achievements of their teammates was a very compelling thing to observe. They are the future, and the future of this great sport. I applaud their incredible talent but first and foremost their leadership. These young ladies empower me to be better, more supportive and encouraging to the people in my life. Canada would be lucky to have them as it’s Junior Roller Derby representatives. xo