But this doesn’t mean I’ve fallen out of love.
A while back, one of my favorite derby blogs talked about the pitfalls of derby that most people don’t see before they try out for a league. I read this and re-read this, and yet I was still unprepared for the time suck, the physical demands, etc. I honestly don’t think there’s any way to prepare for it – you just do it. Or you don’t. And that’s entirely up to you, depending on the things that are going on in your life. (If I can find that specific article, I’ll def come back and link directly to it.)
Making the derby league has been a goal of mine for a long time now, and now that I have it, it seems like everything else wants to jump in the way. Stupid frickin’ bar exam. Stupid frickin’ full-time job. Stupid frickin’ stomach flu (which I’m currently fighting through at home right now… I missed two practices this week and feel like shit – not because of the puking, but because my plow stops are gonna look like crap next week unless I can get my ass on some skates STAT).
I’ve found that being on a roller derby league is a lot like being in a relationship – it takes constant work, a lot of sacrifice. Open communication is a must, but learning to let things go is a must, as well. I’m actually a pretty sensitive gal and can get aggro very quickly (hence my initial attraction to a full contact sport, and my derby name is B.B. Aggressive… that’s not just for show). But – just like you sometimes have to do for someone you love – you push shit aside, let it go, and keep on rolling. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much time for emo heart-to-hearts about who-said-what-to-who-and-why-and-blahblahblah. You just keep skating, keep working on you, so you can be a better teammate and derby player.
With that being said, I’m holding myself to higher and higher physical and mental standards. It makes me happy when I can meet these standards, and I am proud that I’m growing as a person through something that I thought would just be a fun “hobby”. Pfft – hobby my ass. Derby is a full-blown cultural movement, a lifestyle that consumes the people that do it, and then it even leaks over to the people that love the people that do it – everyone gets sucked in.
With that being said, I ain’t too proud to take it back to the basics, even though this meta-existential-derby shit can be fun to talk about. When it’s all said and done, these are the most important things going on right now in B.B.’s head:
1. PICK UP MAH GD FEET. If I can get better at this, I think my skill level and scrimmaging would get like 10x better immediately. Usually after I jam, one of my captains gives me this look and I already know what she’s saying without her having to say anything. She’s telepathically screaming at me “PICK UP YOUR GD FEET.” And I appreciate that.
2. BE AWARE. When I’m scrimmaging (and I played in a bout XD !! ) I sometimes spend so much time trying to listen to my teammates – which is awesome, on one hand – that I lose track of the other team, and their jammer – which is awful, on the other hand. There was one moment where the jammer literally flew right past me on the inside line because I was trying to follow the pivot, but I coulda held down the inside line, knocked that bish out of bounds real quick, and then skated over to the pivot like a good lil’ newbie. But nooooo… she flew right past me.
3. LEARN THE RULES, KNOW THE RULES, LIVE THE RULES, LOVE THE RULES. Enough said. I’m lost on the track sometimes, and this is not good. I got an illegal procedure penalty for not knowing how to re-enter the pack after finishing up my other penalty for cutting the track. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed and I’ve been studying my rules with more fervor ever since. (I really like that word… fervor… anyway…)
4. HAVE FUN. Derby is fun. It’s a sport, but it’s fun. I gotta try not to forget this when I feel like whining over something.
5. SPEND TIME OUTSIDE OF PRACTICE ON MY SKATES. I like outdoors skating, especially in my neighborhood. This is skating without the pressure, and the more I do it, the more comfortable I am moving around on my skates. I also think this will help me pick up mah gd feet.
My first real bout is on November 23rd. As soon as I get out of this fucking bed and stop feeling like an alien is gonna burst outta my chest (doc says it should be by about Friday or Saturday), I’m gonna go crazy with staying on my skates and practicing everything from crossovers to plow stops to quick steps to hits. Can’t wait to play in the first DC Rollergirls bout… it’s gonna be fun!
Until next time…