You’re Up, Down, and Up Again.

One of the more frustrating constants in derby is that, every once in a while, you’re going to have a bad day.

No, that’s not a maybe. Bad days will eventually happen. They happen in normal life, and derby is part of your life, so sometimes, things will just not go quite right, no matter how hard you try. You have to learn to be okay with that, too, which sounds simple, but is far from easy. Fortunately, the badness, while inevitable, isn’t permanent.

I had that kind of day this weekend. My fellow Meaties and I had a scrimmage-packed weekend ahead of us–we had a special scrimmage on Sunday with Sick Town Derby Dames, and Open Scrimmage on Saturday, which allows basically any skater with insurance, five bucks, and a willingness to skate at their own risk. We on Fresh Meat have been pretty hungry for extra opportunities to play derby, so I’d been looking forward to it for the entire week, and visualizing myself kicking a whole lot of ass.

Saturday didn’t exactly pan out that way.

I’d slept far too little the night before–and not for lack of trying, but my body refused to stay asleep for more than an hour or two at a time–but I got up, and My Awesome Boyfriend made breakfast, and I tried to get my head around the idea of scrimmaging. I wasn’t a complete waste of space on the track, but my attention was spotty, and I definitely felt like a hot mess, especially during the third hour of scrimmage. Folks said I did fine, but I didn’t feel that way about it, and I let myself get pretty down-in-the-dumps about it. That, in retrospect, was kind of dumb, because A) I’d been playing on a sleep deficit, B) I’d done an unusually ass-kicking circuit workout the day before, and C) three hours of scrimmage? Is kind of a lot.

I was expecting Sunday to be as dismal as the day before, but it turned out to be a truly kick-in-the-pants fun time. We had team skaters to be our actual jam coach and bench coach, and our positions in the lineup were assigned to us, so this is the closest thing to an actual game that I’ve ever experienced–and that includes the two times I’ve bouted with Coos County in the past.

I seemed to be given the pivot hat a lot, which is a good sign that my awareness and communication is improving–and there was some definite evidence of that in the actions I took, which felt pretty good. So, yeah, I’ll take the frequent pivot assignments as a compliment. Overall, I felt like my defensive blocking was decently effective, I made some solid offensive blocking moves, and I had some ah-ha moments in the pack, where things in my brain clicked in new ways. I’m going to hold onto those ah-has as best I can, going forward–it was awesome to come away feeling like I’d learned something.

The Sick Town ladies were great to skate with and against, too–they were super-nice, more than willing to share strategy, and invited us out for beer-and-burger funtimes afterwards. I’m definitely looking forward to them coming up to visit and play with us, a few weeks from now.

So, yes, point being? You’re going to have a bad day, and it’s going to suck when it happens, but dwelling on it is a waste of time. Make your bad days into fuel for redemption. You’re nowhere near as bad as you think.

I also have some stellar bruises in some highly unusual places, like this lovely creature: a shiner on my hipbone, after being low-blocked and falling into a sprawl. Job well done, heh.

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