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Six Weeks

December 24, 2010

Tonight was kind of an informal practice.  Thursdays are normally when the Betties have their real practice while the Nuggets (beginners) who want some extra track time can skate around the side of the track.  Tonight there were not very many of either group.  My bet is that a lot of people are out of town for the holidays.  Also, it has been raining buckets and today was the first day since the rains that the track was available.  We started off by toweling off the remaining puddles.

Tonight we reviewed our skills and did kind of a run-through of what the assessments will look like.  Before I can join the team, I’ll need to pass the skills assessment which is a standard test of skills that all roller derby girls must pass to show basic competence on the track.  As the date grows closer, I’ve become more and more anxious about the skills I haven’t conquered yet.  Anxious is actually a gentle word for it.  It has been consuming me.

We did our run through.  I’m glad I got to do this because I missed the skills review a few weeks ago when I was in Washington.  I struggled to keep up with the pace line, flailed on my stops, still can’t glide on my right foot, and took a few magnificent falls.  I was so intent on trying the moves that “falling small” was the last thing on my mind.  We are taught to fall small so that when we fall on the track, we are less likely to get run over by the girls behind us.  Luckily, I did my own sprawling falls far from everyone else and didn’t get run over.

At this point, passing assessments on the first try seems to be beyond my reach.  As badly as I want this, it actually feels liberating to accept that I need more practice.  And practice, I am.  I’m going balls to the wall every chance I get.  I’m pushing myself like I’ve never pushed myself before.  I’m taking every opportunity to get more comfortable on my skates, taking advantage of extra time on the track, going to Ventura to use the rink, and skating around my wood floors at home.  I’m on skates every day of the week.  At least I can’t be discouraged about my effort.

When I do get discouraged, I remind myself that I’ve only been doing this for six weeks.  No, of course I can’t skate like a real roller derby girl yet, I’m still a baby roller skater.  I’m basically learning to crawl, walk, run, fall, and do what feels to my body like crazy acrobatics, all in a really short time period.  I may not keep up with the other girls, but I’m skating circles around the skater I was six weeks ago.  I’m maneuvering around the crowded rink without running over the kids who dart out in front of me (or worse, fall down right in front of me).

Yes, I would love to pass assessments, but all in good time.  Instead of focusing on that, I need to keep reminding myself of how much I’ve improved in six weeks and how I can be proud of my dedication, effort, and tenacity.  I’m also proud of the bruises I’ve accumulated in the process.

Meanwhile, I have plans to skate again tomorrow.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 24, 2010 3:36 pm

    As I say at work, it's always good to identify what's missing; the sooner, the better we can deal with it!You've made terrific progress. I'll bet that a bit of focus in a few areas will pull it all together for you.~ Trish, aka SP CodeMauler

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