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I’m Taking the Family With Me

December 19, 2010

Last week, Matt and I took the girls to the skating rink for their first time on skates, ever. We thought it would be best to start them out with some lessons, rather than just putting them on wheels and sending them off. I know that kids don’t really need lessons to be able to learn new things, but we thought it might help with the frustration factor.

To be honest, I was really anxious, watching them fall on their butts over and over. No, I wasn’t really worried that they’d hurt themselves, my anxiety was more out of hope that it would be something they could enjoy. These girls are really good at forming their own opinions about things and I was kind of worried that one or both of them would decide that they don’t like skating. I have to admit that I was invested in them enjoying skating.

After that first 45 minute lesson, they were tired and their feet were hot. We left after that instead of staying for open skate.

The next day, we went back to the rink for a cousin’s birthday part. I think the lesson helped after all, because the girls were instantly in skate heaven. We were there for almost three hours and even when we saw that their eyes were at half mast out of exhaustion, we still had to convince them that it was time to go. They’re hooked. Their investment is different than mine, but now we’re in it together. Not only that, but Matt now wants some skates and is setting a goal to do roller derby boot camp next year. He’s intimiadated by our workouts, but has been following along with my home exercises to prepare himself for the ass kicking that he anticipates next year.

Kate’s zombie stance (Braaaiiins!)

Molly working her derby stance, while Matt wishes he was on skates

Yes, obsession is contageous, and now I’ve got my whole family in it.

Meanwhile, I’m struggling with keeping my obsession a positive one. It’s hard to keep my skill level separate from my self-confidence level. When I do well on the track, I feel great. When I don’t, my confidence plummets. It becomes so much easier to focus on what I can’t do than what I can do, and I bring myself down.

Everything about roller derby is so far outside my comfort zone. After a particularly bad string of self-depricating comments, Matt gave me one of his pep talks and reminded me that I’ve doing something I’ve never even come close to attempting before. This whole business of losing weight and getting fit…I’ve done that before. It’s wasn’t an easy task, but it was a familiar one. I’ve never been an athlete before. I’ve never been on a sports team or even wanted to be on a sports team. Someone recently asked me, is roller derby training hard? It’s just about the hardest physical thing I’ve ever put my body through on purpose. Emotionally, it’s not the hardests thing I’ve been through, but it is new and unfamiliar. I want this so badly that sometimes I put myself in a bad mood. That’s not good.

Yesterday was one of those days. It’s raining buckets and supposed to keep raining. That means no outdoor skating and no regular practice on our outdoor track. Under normal conditions, I would accept that Santa Barbarans have no place to complain about the weather. We have gorgeous weather all year, and when it rains, it’s welcome. Except now that I want to skate. It turned my mood yesterday, even though I got to go to the rink and skate with the kids. I skated slowly alongside them, encouraging their zombie stance and used the opportunity to practice my derby stance (squatting position) the whole way around the track. I yearned for some speed, and made a couple of loops around the track on my own, but it wasn’t the same as the ass whooping I normally get at practice. I’m an addict and I was without my fix. I ended up missing the alternatively scheduled practice in a conference room doing plyometrics, so I came home and did my own workout, but it just wasn’t the same.

I went to bed last night still grumbling. Matt had me look up a list of the skills that I’ll need to pass the assessments in a few weeks. It helped because I could see on paper that I am capable of doing most of the skills, even if I can’t do the perfectly. There are a few skills that are just beyond my reach, but many of them are things that I can do with some accuracy. I felt better after looking at what I can do rather than what I can’t.

I decided before going to sleep that today will be a better day. I will look for a covered parking garage where I can practice cross overs and some of the falls that I haven’t done in a while. And if I can’t skate today, I’m going to accept that too. I need to keep skating fun, and the kids are an excellent reminder of that.

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