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Sometimes, I feel like my brain is riding a really fast roller coaster.

I’ll spend weeks practicing, and think I’m doing great. I’ll make all my stops, keep my form and stance proper, feel my endurance getting better and stride getting longer, and I’ll think, “I’m well on my way to being a rollergirl!”

Then, other times, I’ll think, “There’s no fucking way I’m making this league.” I’ll look at bout videos online, wide-eyed and staring at these women living out my dream, and I’ll feel deflated. I’ll notice differences in the way rollergirls skate and the way I skate, and I’ll harp on them. I’ll tell myself, “What makes you think you’ll make it on your first try? Girls spend years going after this. Wait in line.”

I don’t know where this mean voice inside my head comes from… more than likely, it’s insecurity. But sometimes it’s hard not to feel an immense amount of pressure. I already feel like I’ve put a lot of time into roller derby, but that time is a fraction compared to how long other girls have been wanting this same thing.

I’m trying to counteract all my negative thoughts with practice – when I start feeling like I suck, practice. When I start feeling like I’m going to fail, practice. When I start thinking that I won’t make it, I just keep practicing. It’s the only thing that calms the voices telling me I can’t do it.

It also may have something to do with the fact that I’ve been going through a bit of drama with a pseudo-friend who didn’t seem to get how serious roller derby is to me. (Long story short, she planned some 3-day bday party 3 hours away, and I couldn’t go because of boot camp. She flipped out, I said fuck it I don’t care, and now we longer speak. End of story.) I’m one of those folks who internalizes stress and it has physical ramifications, so I’m trying not to let it get me too down.

Anyway – I wanted to talk a bit about this mental roadblock since that’s why I started this blog in the first place, right?

In law school, I got into meditation to help deal with the stress. The teacher always told us to focus on the present, focus on the present. The past is gone and the future is not here. I don’t want to spend so much time thinking about whether I’m going to make it or not, and miss out on how much fun derby is. The pressure will suck all the fun out, and this is something I definitely don’t want.

So tomorrow at boot camp, I’m going to take a bunch of deep breaths, center myself, and remember to focus on the present, focus on the drills. I have a lot of fun at boot camp, and I will try to focus on that.

Until next time…

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