Okay, this is not related to The Heroine’s Bookshelf. Well, yes it is, in a roundabout way. On Friday, my essay on roller derby for This I Believe will be broadcast on a public radio station near you.

Edit: here’s the audio!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m an NPR junkie. It’s gotten me through countless horrid commutes, creative dry spells, and hard times. When I moved to Denver, I found another salvation:  roller derby, the kind on eight wheels. I skated fast and furious and ended up founding the Denver Roller Dolls with a core group of fierce, brash women who became my fastest friends. My time skating was short (I blew out my knee and required surgery and extensive rehab), but I’ve been a fan ever since and can’t overemphasize the role of roller derby in my life.

In 2006, fresh into my own freelance writing career and energized by the league I had helped found, I felt a burst of inspiration. I quickly wrote an essay for This I Believe, which at the time aired regularly on NPR. I wrote about the sisterhood I’d experienced in my favorite sport and the personal transformation it provoked. And then I promptly forgot about it and went back to work.

So imagine my surprise when, earlier this year, I was not only told that my long-ago essay was selected to appear in the latest This I Believe anthology, This I Believe: Life Lessons (I kid you not: do I specialize in life lessons or what?!), but that I was being asked to record my essay for national broadcast.

Gulp. I have always hated the sound of my own voice, especially the Southern California twang I have been unable to break. But I took a deep breath, grabbed a bottle of water and drove down to Colorado Public Radio’s studio anyway. And I had a blast.

I need hardly point out that this is a closet fantasy realized, and that I couldn’t be more excited to draw attention to a sport that changed my life. My own personal sentiments on derby have changed slightly since I wrote the essay…so many injuries, retirements, and scars sometimes take a personal toll. But I couldn’t be prouder of what we did in late 2005, or of the organization the Denver Roller Dolls has grown to be.

You can hear my segment this Friday morning (November 4) on The Bob Edwards Show on XM satellite radio (channel 121) and Sirius satellite radio (channel 205).  It will be re-broadcast on Bob Edwards Weekend on Saturday (November 5) and/or Sunday (November 6), depending on when local public radio stations air the program.  To find out where to listen, click here and select “Bob Edwards Weekend” and your state in the program locator section.  I’ll post a link as soon as the recording is live!