Finding Your Happy Place in a Wall

HEY DUDES. Apparently, people liked my last post about braced blocking enough that Frisky Sour asked me back to write about roller derby again! This time around, we’re on RollerDerbyForBeginners.com, the new derby blog that has sprung forth from her super-useful book,  Roller Derby for Beginners. (which I also designed the cover for)

So, click the big fancy link below if you’d like to see me break down the different lanes  you can take in a wall, so you can find out where you’ll be strongest, and how to keep growing and challenging yourself. Yay!

Finding Your Happy Place In Your Walls »

http://www.rollerderbyforbeginners.com/walls/

Talkin’ ’bout Braced Walls!

Hey, guys! In spite of my wildly inconsistent–and by that, I mean, “largely nonexistent”–blogging schedule, I was given the opportunity to guest blog for the inimitable Frisky Sour. She was one of my more frequent Fresh Meat coaches, back in the day, and she also wrote a book dedicated to answering all your burning questions about starting to play derby. (she also hired me to design and photograph the cover, which was pretty darned swell.)

Anyhoo, check out Frisky’s blog, and also dive into my convenient guide on the Whys and Hows of Braced Blocking:

Your All-Purpose Guide to Braced Blocking »

http://littleanecdote.com/braced-blocking/

Things I’ll Never Get Used To

You know what feels utterly preposterous? The idea that I, as a roller derby player, might possibly have fans. Okay, so I have made it onto our league’s All-Star team for the past two seasons, but even with that in mind, having fans feels farfetched. I mean, yes, my non-derby friends who’ve known and liked me for years are my biggest fans, of course. I can accept that. But, having fans as in people whom I don’t know personally? “Cognitive dissonance” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

A friend told me recently that he’d mentioned to a friend that he know a derby player here in town. She asked which one, he dropped my name, and she apparently went, “YOU KNOW HER?! She’s so coooooool!” I thought for certain that it had to be someone I’ve met at least once, but it wasn’t.

Oh, and I’m on a bout poster, which multiple friends and acquaintances of mine have seen out in the wilds of town. I haven’t even seen the darned thing myself, yet, but at least my muscles look huge. Maybe I need to re-think that She-Hulk costume…

But seriously, guys. I will never get used to this sort of thing.

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“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

A couple of nights ago, I took the track with my home team, and we had a great game. We’re now going into the Championship game undefeated, we had a ton of fun, and we played together as a team. I even got to jam a couple of times–something I rarely get to do in bouts–and pulled down an average of 19.5 points per jam, heh.

Then, I went into the green room, took off my gear, came back out to the track where my travel team-mates were warming up, and told my travel team captain that I would be stepping down from the team.

I went to hang out with a gaggle of other skaters after that, and when a few of them commented that I wasn’t at TT practice, I finally started saying it. And, every time I explained why, I felt more secure in my choice. People were remarkably understanding, and said things like, “good for you,” or that they respected me for making that choice, or that they admired my self-awareness.

The right kind of support means so very much, in times like these.

Playing roller derby often means making sacrifices. You might spend less time with your loved ones, you might miss birthdays because you’re bouting, you might skip out on that vacation or adventure because you need to rest your body, or because you have to make attendance. Being on a Travel Team is all of that, on an even higher level, and more civilian-life sacrifices can mean that things start to fall through the cracks.

And, sometimes, there are civvie-life sacrifices that you simply can’t make, no matter how important the derby mission feels. There are times when you realize that, as much as you want to do all the things, and give them your absolute best, you find that you simply can’t make it work–not right now, and not the way you want it to. And it kills you to know that you can’t realistically give all of those things the passion and the energy that you wish you could. It’s the kind of thing you lose sleep over.

(yes, I did lose more than a few sleep hours, these past couple of months. And no, lost sleep doesn’t make you better at roller derby, or at life. Go figure.)

Being world champions is a dream that deserves more than a half-assed effort. Everyone on this team deserves more than that. And, when I think about how the past two months have been, I see a person who’s barely making it through each day, and I realize that I don’t want to be that person.

I don’t want to be the person who phones it in, who’s too bedraggled to play at her best. I don’t want to be the person who sleepwalks through drills, because her mind is a million miles away. I don’t want to be anxious and guilt-ridden about all the things I’m not doing for the team, or for my career, or for my relationships. And ultimately, if I can’t give this mission my absolute best right now, then I just don’t feel right about continuing to do it.

I’m beyond grateful to the people closest to me, who listened patiently as I yammered on and mentally wrestled my way through this. And, I feel lucky to have already received so much support and understanding, in the mere day-or-two since I made it official.

So, hey, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to focus more energy on fewer things, so I can do those things better. I sincerely hope that my life will settle down in the months to come. I’m kicking ass in my work, I super-love my home team and we’re going into Championships together and undefeated, and I’m going to be more present in every moment from here on out.

I’m looking forward to a hopefully-near-future, where I can do everything I love with my whole heart, AND my whole ass.😉

Do The Thing, Win The Points

SO. There was a moment, on a Sunday a couple of years ago, when I was at a late brunch with friends. At one point, I paused to look up WFTDA playoffs results on my phone. Then, someone on the table wanted to ask me a question, and I said, “oh, hang on, I gotta check my scores.”

And then, with a vague sense of horror, I thought, “oh my god. I’ve officially become a SPORTS PERSON.” Granted, it was fandom towards an alternative sport, but, still. Sports Person. Gak. Didn’t see that coming.

But, yeah, after a second or two, I got over it. And, XKCD has nailed it here. While I don’t especially enjoy football, and usually find televised sportsball of any kind to be incredibly slow and entirely too commercial-filled, I don’t plan on making fun of people just because THEY like sportsball things.

And, maybe next time I get a little too loud about derby, or Star Trek, or bad type design, or whatever else, other folks will understand it a bit better, too.🙂

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Hello, 2015!

And, we’re in a new year! Hi, guys! I hope it’s being nice to you.

I had a pretty rough go of it in 2014–Real Life brought sadness and challenges in spades, and this little blog fell to the wayside even more than it already had. But, 2015 is giving me some things to look forward to, so I’ll keep on trucking along.

Anyhoo, I haven’t been the most consistent derby blogger, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about derby a lot… so it should come as no surprise that I ended up writing about derby on my business blog.😄 So, here you go:

Goal Setting: What Can You Learn From Yourself? >>

http://www.upsweptcreative.com/2015/goal-setting-independent-business-design-branding/

Even if you’re not a business owner, maybe some of the strategies and thinking can help you, whether it’s in derby or outside of it. Enjoy!

Improvement

Sometimes, I am good at things.😀

One of the things I’m not at all good at, however, is accepting recognition. I rarely know how to respond to compliments, and I NEVER brag. People making a big deal out of something I’ve done tends to make me a bit uncomfortable, even while it gives me a sense of validation. The vast majority of the attention I received from my peers as I grew up was negative, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this.

Coming from that, attention still sometimes feels a little scary–even when it’s the positive kind. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s there, every once in a while.

Fortunately, now I’m lucky enough to have a really awesome set of people supporting me, and helping me push past that discomfort. People who tell me I’m great even when I don’t feel particularly great, people who hug me when things seem impossible, people who challenge me so that so I can reach higher, and people who remind me that it’s okay to show a little pride when I’ve worked hard for something.

So, yeah, um, this is a Big Deal to me. Thank you to everyone who’s been there and helped make this possible. And, You’re Welcome for my not being at the League Picnic to accept this award, because I’d have probably done a whole lot of ugly-crying.😉

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