Lately, I’ve been getting my mind right and practicing a lot on my own because it’s almost time for the next season to begin! I’m stoked.
Between weekend practices and skating on my own, I’ve realized that a bit of my “wild side” is missing!!! This is AWFUL, y’all.
When I first, first started derby – I’m talking before boot camp started, when all I had was a pair of skates and a dream (insert eyeroll, haha) – I would go insane skating around my apartment. I would go as fast as I can, bumping into walls and furniture, zipping down my apartment’s hallways at super speed (much to the chagrin of my neighbors and their houseguests). I was willing to do anything. There was this one time I just randomly put on my skates and went downhill on Connecticut Ave., eventually crashing into the bushes in front of the National Zoo. I fucked those bushes up – there were leaves everywhere, I pulled down a couple of branches. A small crowd gathered around me, worried. I sat up with a smile, completely bitten by the derby bug and exhilarated by the fact that I was still alive and not hit by a car.
It was the birth of B.B. Aggressive, and I was fucking crazy in love.
And ready I was.
But yesterday, while practicing in my apartment’s parking garage, I noticed that the thrill was gone. Yeah, I was doing the moves – I was plowin’, shufflin’, runnin’ and whatnot. But where was my energy, my urgency? Where was that wild and crazy spirit that made me wanna go as fast as I can?
I knew then that it was missing – maybe not gone forever, but definitely missing. And then I realized something else: this was “it”… that thing, that voice inside, that is stopping me from doing shit I’m scared to do. Last year, “it” didn’t bother me – I wanted to play derby and learn derby more than I was scared. Somehow, somewhere along the line during boot camp, tryouts and my first season, this fear took over.
It’s time to get the eff over it and start barreling through that fear again with as much intensity and new love as a freshie, but with as much care, knowledge and respect for the sport as an OG. It’s a funny balance, but I think I can do it.
With that being said, here’s my list of shit I won’t be scared to do this season. They are goals, meaning that it will prob take me many, many practices/months/years/ages/centuries to perfect them – but I will try.
1. Plow at the drop of a dime. My first bout I would get in front of opposing skaters and stop so hard and fast that I would fall in front of them. Yes, I was annoying. No, I was not doing a proper plow stop. But I was giving it my all. Now that I know the *proper* way of doing a plow stop, it is usually a slow and smooth roll to a complete stop. Naw, son – time to start fucking shit up again – but *this time* I will not fall. I’ll just have that sense of urgency.
2. Hockey stops. This is a stop where it is nothing but fear (and maybe my wheels are too grippy?) that is holding me back. I just need to DO IT ALREADY. If I fall, so what? I have on pads. I can get back up. I’ve learned the technique over and over again, I just need to go for it already. No fear.
3. Jump the Apex. We do this at practices but I have never done this during a bout. It must feel so. good. to see a jumbled up ass pack of opposing skaters and be like “Bye, bitch” and just jump over them around the curve. Ohmygawd I’m getting excited just thinking about it.
Look at how happy Onda Sligh looks jumping that fucking apex. Such joy, such abandon.
4. High-Speed Turn-around Toe Stops. I always get scared my ankles are gonna break, so when I get hit out, I end up sliding around. I need to be able to stay upright when hit out of bounds, pop up on my toe stops and jump right back in the game. Watch the jammer (#50) get hit out and see how she pops right back in? Like a boss.
I’m sure there’s more to add to this list, but this is just the beginning of confronting some of the skills that scare me the most in derby.