SO. Draft Night came and went last week. Who has two thumbs and wasn’t even eligible? THIS GIRL.
Honestly, I’ve had a lot of feelings about draft that I’ve spent the past few weeks trying not to think about. That hasn’t been hard, because, between booking a couple of new projects, and the minor disaster that was a dead hard drive on my photo server, I had my hands full outside of derby. But, I suppose I should give these annoying feelings their due, right?
I knew when I left Fresh Meat the first time, I knew I wouldn’t get re-cleared overnight after I came back. But, after three months of being back on Fresh Meat, I kind of expected I’d be re-cleared for draft eligibility by now, and it hasn’t happened. I ask for feedback periodically, and I can’t really pinpoint any one reason why I’m not re-cleared, beyond just not being seen or missing the wrong practices.
I also knew that the girls I’d been skating with from the beginning–the girls in my “class” of December 2010–had definitely grown past me. They’d had 2 1/2 months to keep skating, training, growing as derby players, while I sat out to keep healing, but also to lose endurance, lose focus, lose some of the ground I’d gained before the injury.
Draft night, itself, was a lot happier and less painful than I expected, though–I wasn’t eligible, but I got to see two of my favorite Meaties, who got onto Fresh Meat with me the first time, finally get the much-deserved reward of being drafted to teams. We’d all grown together, worked hard together, and they’d turned into completely awesome skaters. Seeing them get drafted was SO AWESOME. I was thrilled for them, and it also gave me a lot of hope, and reminded me that, yes, as long as I keep working hard, I CAN do this thing, too.
Still, when I got to practice that night, all I could feel was this: “I know I probably wouldn’t get drafted this time, but I wish I was at least eligible for it.” That feeling didn’t make any damned sense to me, but that’s what kept running through my head.
Being re-cleared isn’t just about being draft eligible, you see. That also means skating at team practices, so you can spend more time with experienced players and learn from them. There’s also playing in Wednesday night scrimmage with the home teams, so you can be challenged at a higher level, and just spend more time playing derby. Right now, Fresh Meat only have one hour of scrimmage, on a Saturday morning, in a given week–we used to have two. That play time is what I miss, what I crave, and what I need to really channel my skating skills into effective derby play. Drills are absolutely important to our development, of course, but they don’t capture what a real gameplay situation is like for your mind or your body.
And, you know what? We’re all here to PLAY DERBY. It’s the fun part. I want more of it.
I miss the challenge of skating with the home teams, and playing against them. I want to be thrown back into the fray, so I can take it on and kick its ass, and I know that it will come soon. Still, waiting is hard, and patience is not exactly one of my virtues.