Kaci Bell is one of those skaters you should know about if you don’t already.
She’s a Dallas-based roller skater with clementine Moxi Lollys who recently completed the 365 Skate Daily Challenge. She also has multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that affects the nerves and can cause many symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue and balance issues.
On her blog, Myelin Moxi, Kaci shares her experiences with daily skating and how it helps the symptoms of her chronic condition. Make sure to follow Kaci on Instagram (@myelinmoxi) to follow along with her journey (and for the perfect burst of orange goodness!)
Bout Betties spoke to Kaci about roller skating with MS and her skate goals for the future.
Note: Some answers have been edited for length.
Bout Betties: When did you start skating?
Kaci Bell: I started skating again as an adult back in September 2018! I went on a date with my now-partner to our local skating rink, and I fell in love with skating all over again; I just had to buy a pair of my own!
BB: What’s your current/favorite skate setup?
BB: How does skating improve or affect your MS?
KB: I feel the skating helps me emotionally with MS! MS can really enable the oncoming of depression, amongst other things, so putting my skates on really helps to get my mind off of the negative thoughts and spaces and focus on something that makes me feel feminine and alive. As for physical things, I experience occasionally numbing in my hands and feet along with balance issues. Skating has helped me in growing muscle capacity to help me combat the imbalance situation – I honestly feel like I’m more coordinated on my feet in skates versus on my own two feet!
BB: Many people try to do the 365 days of skating but often fail to complete it, so it’s an accomplishment that you achieved it! How did you do it and what advice do you have for others?
KB: The 365-Skate Daily challenge was definitely DIFFICULT! Especially with a chronic illness. I’m a fighter; I don’t like to be down in the dumps and too sick to do anything. I always tried to maintain good health, first and foremost, but on days I couldn’t get my way, I had to listen to my body and rest in the way that it needed. But my love and passionate dedication always reminded me to, “just put them on. Even if it’s laying in bed or sitting on the couch. Because emotionally I’ll feel 10 percent better.”
And with this mindset I could still have a positive time resting, knowing that there are more days in the year to be active. In addition, I began to consider my days of rest in my skates as a learning period, as well, i.e. how to clean my skates, take them apart and get to know them, customize them, invest in my YouTube channel, etc., because (most of) these things are essential parts of being a skater.
I completed this challenge with faith, high hopes, and an ambitious, hungry-for-results attitude. I was excited to see 1 percent of progress every day I put my skates on, and that was enough motivation for me to want to put them on every day and see what changed, skill-wise.
I say to anyone attempting this challenge to trust your process, trust your progress and REST! Omg. As a seasoned skater, I notice that we rarely talk about the importance of rest when trying to reach skate goals! It’s easy to forget when you’re in the zone and eager to see your results, I get it! But it’s vital to your health and your progress!
BB: What’s your favorite style of skating?
KB: My favorite style of skating is definitely street skating – all that freedom! I’ve recently been getting into park skating and I love it! So that one is pretty up there too.
BB: What’s your favorite thing about skating?
My favorite thing about skating is the community and the wholeness. We are welcoming and embracing! There’s always a new place to skate, new trick to try and new friend to make!
BB: Do you have any skating-related goals for 2020?
My skate goals for 2020 are to definitely advance my park skating skills – I think it’s such a rush, and it would be awesome to show up some boys at the park.
BB: What do you do outside of skating?
KB: Outside of work, I’m a graphic designer. I create branded collateral for large companies and small businesses.
Read more about Kaci and her skating journey on her blog. We love hearing from the derby community because everyone experiences derby differently. It’s so great to hear what got you started and kept you coming back for more. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your story to share!