Let's play a little catch up since we haven't spoke in, oh, forever.
What's been happening with you?
Oh, really? Great! Now onto me.
I've been practicing some derby, playin' a bit. Having recently filled out a registration for a rookie invitational, the actual number of bouts and scrimmages became important. I wasn't to sure how to answer, since my scrimmage count is... not sure? More than three, less than eight? I didn't know I should count them. I play derby so I'm not - whatdayacallit - smart?
As for bouts, do rookie invitationals count as actual bouts or scrimmages? And as for really real bouts (autograph signing and all), I did play a couple with my seriously ass-kicking team Nightshades, but really, since I played more than three, less than eight jams per a game, should I really count them?
Experience by the numbers is an odd thing.
But who's counting?
I'm not. All I know is that my skills are s-l-o-w-l-y improving. I feel I'm somewhere between completely sucks and mediocre, and I'm okay with that. Well, I have to be okay with it, since that's just where I am. I have to occasionally remind myself how far I've come since my first wobbly days on the track (when I felt I wasn't qualified to actually skate my laps in bounds) and now, hells, I wouldn't dream of thinking I belong anywhere on but on that track.
My track, muthers!
One thing, though, I've prided myself on throughout the last year and a bit is doing whatever has been thrown at me in practice. Not doing it well, mind you, but at least trying. There have been days, with a coach either in a particularly sadistic mood or in her third trimester of pregnancy, when the side of the track has looked like a triage unit, with fallen and exhausted skaters in a semi-comatose state, but I have soldiered on, lightheaded and nauseous, and did what needed done.
My bench marks, for example, took place on a plus thirty degree day, with only two of us testing and not having any breaks. I felt like my head was going to float off from heat exhaustion, but I made my twenty five in five, even after biffing it on a corner, and then jumped my little heart out over the three inch pylon (oh, how far I've come since then!), half hoping I would fall so I could lay on the floor for just a minute please, but I kept going and passed, damnit.
Not a quitter.
But, tonight, I fucked up that little personal best of belligerent tenacity. Tonight I got hot. Really hot. And dizzy. And cotton mouthed. And nauseated. And I was pretty sure I was going to hurl right there on the track.
Oh, the romance of roller derby.
At first I thought I was coming down with the flu. But I kept skating. And then I started to worry I had Toxic Shock Syndrome. But I kept skating.
(Perhaps, besides diligence, I should add hypochondria to my list of tendancies?)
But then, as the track started to tilt at an alarming angle, I decided to go take a bit of a breather in the change room. For the first time on skates (excluding all games of freeze tag) I felt like I might be a in a bit of danger. I also thought that it would probably ruin my derby cred if I spewed teriyaki stir fry (which was delicious, but really only the first time) on the track. Plus, I'd probably have to clean it up too. For the skaters, by the skaters and all that.
So, I gave and took myself off the the change room to splash a bit of cold water on my face. Then it dawns on my that I'm probably not dying from dangerously rapidly multiplying bacteria in my vagina (just read the pamphlet that comes in the tampon box ladies) but merely hot.
Hey, I'm hot!
And it's not cool.
Some more cooling water, on my face and from my water bottle, the removal of one whole shirt and I almost felt like I wasn't riding a tilt a whirl.
And then I skated again.
Lesson learnt: summer time is a bitch for skating. Granted, so is winter, especially with a concrete floor that likes to contract into ice-like slipperiness during sub zero temperatures, but getting right now being overheated is my greatest enemy.
For next practice I plan to drink more water during the day prior and wear much less clothing. I hope my teammates can handle it.
And, as for having to take a shameful break during practice, well, I'm going to have get over it as an anomaly and a learning experience. My ego and I shall get over it. It was just for ten minutes in hundreds of hours of practice.
But who's counting?