Friday, January 29, 2010

So, here's what's killing me about derby.

Which is not actually derby's fault, but it just happens to be the circumstance at the moment.

Full disclosure - I am ABSOLUTELY the sort of person who doesn't like to try things if I'm not positive that I'm going to succeed. I know everyone, to a certain measure, wants to be fairly reasonable about their success rate when embarking on a new venture (who wants to try something you're absolutely going to fail at? It's shooting yourself in the foot!), but I almost have a phobia of failure.

This unfortunate aspect of my personality usually means that I start a lot of things, and I quit a lot of things the minute my self-doubt comes creeping in. The second it looks like I'm not going to be awesome, I want out.

So, enter roller derby. Could I possibly have fathomed how hard it was going to be? No way. Am I absolutely sucking at bootcamp right now? Not nearly - I'm learning a lot, staying on my feet, but I still have a lot to work on. Do I think I will pass the WFTDA test? Suddenly, I'm not so sure.

I'm trying to square with the possibility that this might not be it for me, that at the end of bootcamp when we take our tests, I just might be leaving the rink with my head down, shoulders slumped in defeat. My doubts start overwhelming me - "Maybe I won't pass the tests this first time around" turns into "Maybe I won't pass these tests EVER" turns into "Maybe I'm just not cut out to play roller derby." Poisonous, toxic, and crippling. I have to confess, I have had moments where I've asked myself, "I'm totally not going to pass, so why am I even still going to bootcamp?"

The answer? I don't want to stop. This might be the first time ever where I'm almost fairly certain of my impending failure, and I still want to do it anyway. The thing is, I love it. Skating is the closest thing I've experienced to flying. And I love the girls I've met, on the team and in my bootcamp class. And I love roller derby itself - the sport is exciting and thrilling and empowering. And - honestly - I'm getting a lot out of this journey. I'm getting fit, I'm learning something new, and I'm meeting a lot of people. This is an instance where the process is just as important as the product.

And I have to square with myself in the other direction - "You're not that bad. You've got a lot to work on, and it's your own damn fault for not doing more outside of practice. You could pass if you tried harder." It's been hard for me to get out to a rink - hell, it's even been hard for me to get off my couch sometimes. Between Jolie and school and being sick a lot, sometimes I barely have enough energy to crawl into bed at night. (Literally - I've spent almost entire nights on the couch because I couldn't even make it to bed.) I'm trying really hard to find a balance between everything, and since I consider roller derby to be something that I'm doing for myself, it doesn't always come first.

In short, I hope I pass. And if I don't pass, I hope I get asked back to the next bootcamp and pass the second time. And if I never become a derby girl at all, I hope... no, I KNOW... that derby will always be a part of my life. It's changed me mentally and physically.

In the meantime, I'm not giving up yet. I'm only two weeks in, I'm making reasonable progress, and I'm fighting 'till the end.

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