Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Skater

At the end of last season I wrote a bit about my triumphs, regrets, and hopes for the coming year. Among my hopes was a derby fantasy I've held since I started, and one I realized this past Saturday. I got MVP. Holy crap.

Ok, so how do I explain why this is the biggest deal to me in the history of ever...

If you look inside, most of us still see ourselves like we've always been, whatever that image hinges upon. For some, it's the ugly nerd in high school who no one ever wanted to ask out. For others, it's the dumb screw-up kid who teachers always said would amount to nothing. For me, it's the "Bad Skater" who would never be anything special on the track.

You may know someone who has been very obese his or her whole life, but recently lost a ton of weight and is now pretty hot. Hell, you may have had this experience yourself. Either way, you know how the newly-babe-status person still carries him or herself the same way as before the weight loss? Yeah, it's a lot like that.

I was weirdly nervous before the bout, and I don't really remember most of it because I was totally in my own head the whole time. What I do remember is the after party. I was standing in the crowd and I heard my husband call the MVP for the Cosmos (congrats Rocky!). Then he called the MVP for the Nuts, and suddenly everyone was looking at me. ME. In Steve's words, number40KDREADNOUGHT.

There are a lot of rockstar skaters who collect MVP trophies like Fresh Eddie Fresh collects skates. There are some lucky skaters who are so self-aware that they don't need anyone to tell them that they're good at what they do. For those people, MVP is probably a nice bonus after a great bout. They'll smile and accept the award and go on with their evening feeling pretty good, but won't see themselves any differently than they did the day before. It was a really big deal to me, though. Getting MVP was easily the single proudest moment of my derby life.

Why do I care so much? Because it's one of those "Good Skater" marks that I've arbitrarily made in my own head. It's a pair of size eight pants that reminds me to learn to stop carrying myself like I'm still a size twenty-six. 

Edited to add: The MVP trophies this season take the form of skate wheels. I skated on mine today and kept thinking about the circumstances under which I got them. It was nice to look down and see them under my feet at the beginning of every jam. Our jam coach came up to me today and told me that this MVP has been a long time coming. That really touched my heart too.

I've been carrying a warm little spark of pride in my heart since last weekend's bout and it feels pretty neat. Ok, not just neat. It feels absolutely wonderful. I'm going to make every effort to fan it into a flame, because this warmth sure beats the cold, dank, little cave I allowed myself to live in for so long.


Helen Carnate said...

Awesome post, Dread! I definitely appreciate your perspective as I suspect that I will end up carrying at least some amount of "bad skater" baggage with me when I make it to bouting status, given how long it's taking me to get there!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I would love to know how you lost the weight. I am one of those still obese girls who is trying to lose the weight and totally in love with derby. Sometimes its a hard partnership to deal with.

Dreadnought said...

@Helen - every time I read your blog it borderline creeps me out. Its like we're leading parallel lives. I promise you, it gets so much better. We should go skating sometime soon and kvetch.

Dreadnought said...

@Bash - thanks babe. I didn't lose a lot, really. Maybe 15lbs or something? I just cut down on the ca-razy crap I ate and let derby do its thing.

I used to eat like a hobbit - first dinner, second dinner, supper, luncheon.... yeesh. Also, I adore cake. I'd eat a whole cake by myself over the course of a week because, damn, cake tastes so good.