Thursday, March 25, 2010

fear on the rise

I’m standing at the edge of the banked track. The outside walls loom at me – rails heavily padded, and yet clearly steel… I wonder vaguely about the damage they do… splintered hip bones and crushed wrists momentarily collage through my mind… but the main thought in my head is the incline on the other side of that wall. The incline that’s about to take all of my sure-footedness out from under me, and increase the trepidation in each skated footfall…

At home, on my flat track, despite the three different sites, each with differing surfaces, at which we train each week, I have surety in my step. I know the boundaries of that flat track, and my skating is fast, nimble, sometimes even gutsy, the smile across my face betrays my pleasure in speed, in each evasion of contact, each knock I refuse to allow to take me off my path.

But this moment is different. And even as my heart leaps inside me, and my hands and knees tremble (I clench muscles to steady them) I hear someone yelling that it’s my turn, and I leap onto the track, and the boards arch and flex beneath me, and I know that I’m going to make it. That that surety isn’t why I play. That each fall is another one done. And the bruises that await me are earned. And the fear rises up inside me and takes flight.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the funny over the win.

my last post was some time ago and a lot has changed since then. of course. my fitness has improved, i have muscles in my legs, arms, torso. the derby community has become another family, and i have found myself showing off my skating skills in my kitchen.

and i quit fresh meat.

what happened was this: i failed my yellow star assessment. by .4 of a point. i failed because i thought it would be hilarious if someone yelled out 'use the force, darth ada!' during my endurance skate. i had to do 5 laps in 60 seconds. when i heard the words, i lost my shit. i nearly spat out my mouth guard and laughed so hard i almost fell over. i lost two seconds. crucial seconds. i ended up with 5 laps in 62 seconds. fail. it's cool though - it was funny. i hope that i always take to funny over the win.

instead of taking the resit, i decided to drop out. i can't train enough to get good enough. admittedly, i have other interests and a full life and there's nothing i want to give up. so i decided to become a ref. being a ref means that i can continue to go to training, to skate and to be part of the Victorian Roller Derby League. it's an ideal choice. so for the past month or so, that's what i've been doing. reffing. or training to be a ref at least.

so my journey has taken a turn and i'm pretty damn happy about it. there's no pressure to continuously pass tests i'm not ready to take. don't get me wrong - reffing will be highly pressured. calling penalties is terrifying (as are the women i'll be calling the penalties on). i feel like i'm at the beginning of another new challenge, one that can engage my body as well as my brain. i suspect i'll do ok...if i can just get my head around the rules...