It has been noted recently that I am a terrifically negligent derby blogger. Sorry. If it makes you feel better, I am also negligent in almost every area of my life. I would explain it's because I spoon fed derby my brain as well as all my time but if you are here, reading a derby blog, you probably already understand the life consuming derby blob well enough.
But, I'm busy, you know? With derby. Which is why I can't write about derby, because I'm too busy making derby happen. That involves way way more than just going to practices and games. See, as the new pad smell of derby finally faded, I woke up from my fresh meat puppy love to find myself neck deep in committees, meetings, and an administrative To Do list longer than the pack definition. In the past, my inability to say no has gotten me in more trouble than a fruit fly in a glass of Merlot and now it has caused my kids and my league mates have equal shares in my ass. I am a slave to derby.
(Which, on a side note, is funny since though I have managed to thus far avoid any derby nuptials, I have somehow acquired a derby pimp and a subsequent obligation my team's fundraising sub-committee. Come to think of it, I may actually already have a derby wife and that wife is derby itself, much in the way nuns are married to god. Alms to the poor travel team?)
I am no longer fresh meat. I am no longer rancid meat. I am somewhere adrift between colonization of maggots and being far gone enough to grow lettuce. I no longer can talk about the experience of being new, feeling awkward and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. I feel pretty at home on the track now. My fishnets have been replaced by Lyra and practices that make the edges of my vision go dark are my new comfort zone. I run stairs and do cross fit for fitness and fun. My derby crush has turned out to be a keeper and we've set up house.
Thus, to gain some closure on and finally bid adieu to my minty fresh derby self as I finally admit I am no longer a blushing novice, I shall present to sum of the wisdom I have learned as my two year benchmark anniversary approaches in this next month.
(Get ready to be blown away by my sage council.)
1. Attitude counts.
2. Yes, it's hard. Get over it.
3. You are very thirsty but you probably won't die. Finish the drill. You can always give just a little bit more.
4. It never gets easier, you merely encounter new obstacles at greater heights as you progress. You have to find a different way to measure success than easy vs. hard.
5. Do not compare yourself to other skaters in a negative way. Everyone has their own hurdles and triumphs. You don't know what they've been through. If they're better than you, they've most likely worked very hard and made a lot of sacrifices. Do not be jealous, honour their achievements. If they are not as good as you, do not feel superior because in no time they'll improve enough to knock your ass down. Cheer them on as they get better and they will become a valuable teammate one day.
6. Dryland and off skates exercises will help you make significant improvements on skates. It sucks, but there it is.
7. What you put in your body matters. Eat well all the time, not too much, and make sure you eat a little snack right after practice.
8. Even when the reffing blows (it always does), the other team is douchey (they always are), and your teammates are all in the penalty box (as always), you can not blame anyone but yourself for a bad game. It's up to you to be able to meet all these challenges and still succeed.
9. Find some balance between derby and life. But don't ask me how to do it because I don't fucking know.