Saturday, November 28, 2009

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway

Apologies for not posting on this blog before now. It's the night before derby tryouts and I'm facing some fears.

Over the past five years, grief, depression and laziness have turned me into a (larger) shadow of my former self. A gutsy person is still in there, though, surviving, and derby is resurrecting her. Being back on wheels is exhilarating and I'm loving the feeling of long-lost skills (and muscles!) returning. In roller derby, I see a way to get back some things I've lost: fitness, confidence, pride and guts.

When I was nine or ten, I was always on skates – every spare minute of the day not spent at school, eating, sleeping or reading, I was on wheels. And I was fearless. I moved onto blades in my teens and then once I left school, as with too many things, I gave it up. I used to be a writer as well – poems and stories just flowed out of my pen – but I lost confidence along the line and threw in the towel.

Boot camp has been a challenge, especially since the second week in which I injured myself during the first drill. The fearful voice inside me started questioning whether I really could be a derby girl, whether I was too fat, too weak, whether I should just stop wasting everyone's time. All these thoughts were running through my head as I watched the rest of the training session from the sidelines, then limped away from the rink and blinked back tears on the long drive home. But, sitting in the bath at home, soaking my screaming muscles, I felt a hunger to be part of something incredible – that glory I see on the derby track – and I knew I had to keep going. Thinking about the tryouts tomorrow terrifies me, as has the idea of putting the pen to this blank page, but I know this fear is good and I'm ready for more...

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