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My Derby Goal: Big Girl Panties

January 21, 2011

Yes, I have skating goals.  I have skill goals.  I have a goal to eventually, sometime way off in the future, be good enough to bout.  But a much more immediate goal is to have some badass confidence in myself.  First of all, as I’ve mentioned before, confidence is an integral part of skating.  Most of the skills are impossible if you can’t commit.  At the beginning of boot camp, the feedback I heard most was that the skills are easier if I skate faster.  It takes confidence and commitment to just go for it, having faith that speed isn’t going to make the fall any worse.

Which is exactly why all of my “I suck” self-talk isn’t working for me anymore.  It wasn’t working for me before either, but I’m particularly tired of it now.  I’ve been hard on myself when everyone else has been patient and encouraging.  No one has told me (to my face) that I’m not good enough or fast enough or smart enough.  Yet it seems like that’s all I focus on when I’m doing something new.  And roller derby, apparently, is going to be new for a very long time.

So my new challenge to myself is to knock it the F off.  I’m going to be proud that I’m doing things to embarrass myself.  Sure, I put my helmet on backwards (twice actually) and didn’t figure out why it wouldn’t latch right until I was told (thanks Viva).  Yeah, I got called out for not understanding the instructions.  As well as the numerous times that I feel like a dope because I accidentally trip someone or I can’t skate fast enough or any of the other things that are hard for me.

The reason these things are hard for me (including putting on my helmet, apparently) is because I’m doing something so far outside my comfort zone.  And though there might be some safety in the ability to say “I suck because I wasn’t really trying,” it wouldn’t be true.  The truth is that I can feel proud that every time I’ve flailed at a new skill or did something embarrassing because I did it with 100% of my effort behind it.

So starting today, no more putting myself down.  No more sniveling after practice about all the things I screwed up.  I’m gonna pull up my big girl panties and deal with it.  I already know what I need to improve on and I’ll leave it to the coaches to tell me if I’m just not cutting it.



P.S.  Why do I reveal so much about myself in a public blog?  Sheesh!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 1:22 pm

    So everytime you get a case of the suckies and wanna fall back into getting down on yourself, mabe try visiting this page . I find it really inspiring 😉

  2. Trish, aka CodeMauler permalink
    January 21, 2011 2:27 pm

    Here’s one of my favorite quotes that sticks in my head when I’m feeling failure-ly:

    “Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”
    ~ Billie Jean King

    If everyone, heck if ANYONE, was great at roller derby the first time out, the rink would be too jammed for anyone else to try.


  3. Venus N. Vee permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:43 pm

    First off, if it’s not revealing it’s not worth writing about.

    Secondly, I’m glad you’ve gotten to this! It’s about time!!! I think when I lightened up on taking it so seriously, I started having more fun. When I started having more fun, it started coming more easily. It’s as much, if not more, about the journey than the end goal.

    I think if I haven’t been walking in those nearly same exact shoes, I might be more sympathetic. But I agree, it’s time to suck it up. You’re advancing leaps and bounds beyond me. If I can feel good about my totally shitty level of ability, then there’s no reason for you not to feel good about where you’re at. I saw you out there last night giving it your all and right in there with the pack. C’mon! ❤

  4. January 22, 2011 2:58 am

    AWESOME. I’m with you 🙂 I love Billie Jean King quote Trish posted.

  5. Kitty permalink
    January 23, 2011 2:44 pm

    I have found your blog and adore it! You are an inspiration.

    For confidence and comfort on your skates one of the fabulous things you can do is clean your living space in your skates. Wash the window, do the dishes, fold the laundry (squatting or standing) cook your meals. Just being in your skates when doing normal things will just improve your over all balance and confidence. It also makes cleaning a hell of a lot more fun. When you wipe down the counters try not to lean on them or put your skates on the cabinets put one hand behind your back. Sweep and mop.

    And although speed does make things easier it doesn’t make them correct. If you can do it right slow then your golden for doing it fast.

    I will keep reading. I love your blog so much. It is wonderful to hear how are you are working for something you love and want.

  6. January 26, 2011 8:03 am

    SO nice to hear you are getting confident. Stop on over at my blog, and leave a comment! Happy skating and Happy Blogging – MUTTPUPPY

  7. February 16, 2011 3:51 am

    I went to my first roller derby practice tonight, and I sucked! I used to be a great skater when I was a kid, but now I am overweight and out of shape, and most of the girls there tonight were athletic and thin. The only thing I think I have going for me is that I could probably block awesomely if I got a chance. My skating is OK but I don’t remember ever doing crossovers before. They are really hard for me. Not in terms of balance or anything but it just seems hard for me to completely cross my big foot over, LOL. I also felt a bit like a loser because the padding I bought was crappy and I had to borrow some. Well, the kind I borrowed slipped off my pants continually, so I couldn’t really do most of the falls. One of the trainers told me it probably wasn’t safe without better gear, so I ended up skating around the rink and practicing crossovers while everyone else practiced their falls. For a minute I thought, maybe I shouldn’t go back and waste their time, while they have all these major athlete chicks. But after reading your post, I think I will give it another go. Thank you for your inspiring blog. I’ve put it on my blogroll. You rock!

    • February 16, 2011 4:13 am

      Yay! I’m so glad that I could inspire you to give it another go. Hey, I was no where near crossovers on my first day. It took a lottttt of time. Everything will be hard at first so you’ll just have to find another way of measuring your success. And if you look around at all the “major athlete chicks,” it’s probably hard for them too.

  8. Beth permalink
    April 28, 2011 5:29 pm

    Glad I stumbled upon your blog…keep writing it!

    I just started my 1st week at derby after a lifetime of non-athleticism so I am finding that I have a big case of the “I sucks”. After leaving my second practice early due to a muscle strain I felt like a big old loser and had to remind myself that I am not going to be able to do it in a day and that I have to learn to pull my big girl panties up and skate through the strains just keep moving.

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