Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Three years

Yesterday was my three year derby-versary. Yup - this giant war machine is three years old in derby terms. I found myself telling some of my teammates about my first year skating, and how rough it was. I told them about this girl:

The freshie who didn't get teamed for over a year. This is a picture of me getting the only track time I could make for myself - after the bout was over, before they swept up the last of the popcorn. After every bout, I'd skate alone, avoiding beer spills and discarded programs. I'd pretend that there was a crowd cheering for me.

I knew I'd never quit, but sometimes it got so hard that I wished I had it in me to just give up. I couldn't, though. I stuck out every injury, every failed assessment, and every practice where I had to skate around the outside of the track because I couldn't do contact drills like everyone else.

Any time I don't feel up to skating, I remember that girl. Back then, I would have given almost anything to be on the track with the rest of the league. I skate every bout for her.

Happy (belated) birthday, Freshmeat Jessie. You did it, and I'm so proud of you.


Scott Jason said...

I remember the frustration of Freshmeat Jessie. That was rough to watch. That struggle, that joy of transformation, of finally getting in there, has made you the robot rhino you are today.

Dreadnought said...


Kari T. Ryder Wilkie said...

Happy anniversary Dread! Those were tough times but going through them together made it better :)

sjc said...


Miranda said...

OMG, thank you so much for this post. This is how I feel right now. You can read my blog (derbyat40.blogspot.com) if you want details ... but ... yeah.

I will not give up. But it's hard being the worst skater in the league.

Dreadnought said...

@Miranda - we should totally swap stories. Email me at rollerderbyquilt (at) gmail (dot) com.

It gets better. Even if it takes a while, just have faith in this basic joy of physical activity - the more you do it, the more your body just "gets it", and thus the easier it gets.

Some things really are that simple. Sure, there's a lot to the sport beyond simply being comfortable on skates and understanding the feel of the game happening around you. Still, once those things become automatic, the rest is simply a new challenge.