Sunday, July 10, 2011

celebrating (almost could be if I work hard enough) mediocrity

I've been told several times recently that I should blog more about roller derby.  I agree.  I have been breaking blogging rules by posting infrequently and randomly, plus I like to put in annoying variations in font size and rarely have pictures.  All good things to do if you don't want people to read what you write.

Yet, here you both are!

For either one of my two readers here who do not know, I do have another blog in which I follow the rules of blogging and it has a few more readers.  Like eight or so.  You should know, before you wander over, I hardly ever use the word fuck, never douchebag, and mainly talk about my kids a lot.  Roller derby consists of about .02% of content. 

Yet derby takes up about 56% of my waking life time and 88% of my brain space.  A slight discrepancy in writing time given over to one blog versus the other, if you want to consider life energy given to each pursuit, but I do find it is easier to write about sewing, crafting and raising my kids because I am actually pretty good at that stuff, while derby, well, not so much.

It kills me to not be good at something.  I am the person who usually asks questions only if I already know the answers.  I never guess at things.  When I did not instantly rock the guitar, tumble gracefully in gymnastics, hit the fucking ball in baseball or keep my head above water in swimming, I quit rather than humiliate myself.  

As an adult I've learnt a bit of perseverance, it's true, but still, eventual mastery of a particular skill is always my goal.  If I will never be great at something, then why stay with it when there is so many other things to be doing?  So many other things I can be great at?

Roller derby has thrown a bit of wrench in my easy route/slacker routine.  See, I already know I will never be great at roller derby.  It's been a year and a half now and not only have I failed to achieve superstardom, but I haven't really reached mediocrity.  And I know that if I work hard, skate every day, cross train, eat, sleep and breath derby I will never achieve the fluidity, bad assitude and juky-ness I see comes naturally to other players.  I can, perhaps, be good.  But not Awesome.

And that's okay.

No really: OK.

For some reason, despite my absolute shame at making mistakes and the emotional suffering I go through whenever I appear foolish in public, put me in a pair of fishnets and lyrca skirt and suddenly I don't give a shit.  Knock me on my ass, my face, make me trip over my skates and do a funky chicken while I crash into the boards and I'll be back for more as soon as I can pick my fat ass up off the floor.  I'm pretty sure I look like a fool and a lunatic, I mean if you are going to play a ridiculous kitschy contact sport on bloody roller skates, for heaven's sake, you'd best be at least good at it

But I'm not.  Have I mentioned I'm okay with that?

I wish at this point I could enlighten you about what makes roller derby so special to actual locate itself outside of the realm of my usual neurosis.  I have no insight there as of yet.  Derby, in fact, isn't entirely untouched by my self-loathing since I still can not watch video of myself skating and nearly always refuse to view photos of myself playing, but while I'm on skates (in fishnets and lyrca), no matter how I appear to others, I feel pretty good.  Even as my head is bouncing off the floor.

Normally I hate perspiring in public but I really like skating.  Normally I hate sports but I really like playing derby.  Normally I hate appearing anything less than perfectly together and, horribly, I don't mind getting knocked on my ass.  Normally I see most people as being surrounded by an extra large bubble and apologise profusely if someone else bumps into me on the bus but I like knocking bitches on skates over.  Normally I'd never use the word bitch.  It's all a big a big bundle of dysfunction and odd and it's all happening on roller skates.

Pretty funny, right?

One day maybe my daytime identity's self consciousness will catch up to my derby persona, but in the meanwhile, with this lag in feeling like a loser and mortification with appearing foolish, I can enjoy doing something that I am not very good at yet can still live it. 

As lame as I am, the hits I take are real and, yeppers, I truly am bouncing off the concrete and when I manage to push someone out, block the jammer for half the track or knock someone else, for a goddamn change, on their ass, I know that it is extraordinary, for me, and I relish it all the more.

Or maybe it's just all the hits to the head talking.

Yours, in derby (badly),
Unchained Malady        

1 comment:

  1. You are only mediocre if you are comparing yourself to a superstar. My opinion / way of surviving derby -> Everyday that I push myself I get a little better. It might not be at the same pace as others around me, but I'm better than I was last month, much better than 6 months ago, and geez you should have seen me skate a year ago. I'm sure the same is true for you!