COVER STORY

Michelle McClarnand­ Is Thankful to Be Part of a Team

'Crash Register' skates with the Jacksonville RollerGirls' New Jax City Rollers

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There’s a lot of complaining these days. Everyone seems to be overworked, underpaid, shut down — and the Jaguars lost again. It’s November, a month that Americans have associated with the giving of thanks for quite some time, yet I don’t hear much on the topic of Thanksgiving. I don’t mean the holiday; I mean the idea of Thanksgiving.

This year has been filled with trials and obstacles for me, but I still have many things for which to be thankful. I have a healthy son, a job in a time when many have none, I’m in great shape, and I’m a charter member of the Jacksonville RollerGirls’ New Jax City Rollers travel team.

I’m thankful to be a part of this team of 20 tough-as-nails women for seven years now. In the best of times, and in the very worst of times in my life, this team always served as home base. I’m thankful for the shelter these women have provided me when the rest of my life was a blinding storm. I’m thankful for the wind on my face as I take a sharp corner on turn two, which I can do because my team made sure that I got through the pack untouched by the other team.

I’m thankful for all the laughter and late-night group talks when we can’t sleep the night before a big game. I’m thankful for the time they have given me, and most of all I’m thankful for the lessons we learned about hard work. Our blood is as thick as our skin. In the end, 26th in the world is not too shabby, ladies. We may not always be best friends, but we’re a really tough family. I’ll give thanks for that.

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