I’ve been neglecting this blog lately. The easiest explanation is lack of time. I’ve been incredibly busy between work, ref practice, socializing, and planning some big changes in my life, possibly a move. No, not out of the area, just looking for something more affordable.
The more challenging reason for my blog silence is that I’ve still been grappling with confidence issues and trying to fit into this derby world. I don’t really feel like going into it, but I’ll just summarize by saying it’s exhausting to want so badly to be a part of something that I’m sidelined from. It brings out all kinds of junior high feelings in me. Health-wise, I’m back to normal, but I still need to wait for try-outs. So I’ve decided to just let that all go and focus on my athletic goals (endurance!)
I’ve also been working on my reffing skills. I’ve been trying to learn the ins and outs of reffing while the team scrimmages at practice. The first challenge was to actually see what’s going on. Everything happens so fast! I was hearing the more experienced refs call things that I couldn’t even see. Once I started to recognize penalties, I still had trouble reacting quickly enough to think of the words to name them. I started to see penalties as others were calling them. On Sunday, our head ref Homer Pimpson was the only experienced one who made it to practice. That left the rest of us to step it up a notch. So I got out my whistle, and started calling. Yeah, I made some bad calls, called “out of play” before it really was (oops!), have trouble calling location of the pack, and missed a bunch of calls, but I also started seeing track cuts and calling them. Dita de Los Muertos may not have known she was helping me, but she made some intentional minor cuts that made it really easy for me to see and to call. I’m still shy about blowing my whistle for major penalties, but I’m getting there.
I’ve heard comments from some of the girls I attended boot camp with, both the ones who made the team as well as those who now make up the Derby Justice League, about reffing being something of a demotion. Relegated to reffing when you can’t play with the team. I have to admit that I have some feelings like that as well, since my goal has always been to be on the team. But the more I learn as a ref, the more I’m swept up in the challenge of improving my reffing skills. I still hope to make the team, but I wonder…since I wouldn’t be ready to bout anytime soon, if I might be able to be on the team as well as working on reffing?