2012: So I Guess We Are Not All Dead After All

Holy crap, it’s almost 2013! In celebration of not being dead yet, let’s take a peek over our collective shoulder at TPiaL in 2012:

–A year ago today, I had just come back from an ankle contusion. Busted the tissue up pretty bad while vacuuming when I lifted my foot and jammed the corner of a metal bedframe into the soft spot above the joint. Moral of the story: don’t vacuum!

–Last January, I couldn’t transition while in motion.

–By February, I could.

–In March, I struggled to feel like a “real” derby girl, whatever that is.

–In April, I fangirl’d. Note: I am now a fan of the Moto bearings. Quadzilla himself swapped out the derpy ones for a fresh pack, which worked admirably. ❤

–In May, I returned to PFM after months of session skating at rinks, and could finally do all of the drills. Slow learners: we learn real good-like. Eventually.

–In June, BACON.

–In July, I mused about derby wives.

–In August, I started to suspect that maybe something was, like, wrong with my body. Also, I got coated in expired Bengay. You know you jealous.

–In September, I found out that lots of things were definitely wrong with my body, and they would take a hot minute to sort out. FFFFFFFUUUU.

–In October, I scrimmaged anyway because I am a pathological optimist. Verdict: nope, still injured! Get yo’ ass to the outside, do not pass “Go,” do not collect $200.

–In November, I derped around the Shire.

–In December, I done got hitched. We are having a GLITTERY FUCKING CEREMONY next month.

In general, I try to figure out what life is trying to teach me; the end of a year is a handy time for it. What did 2012 seem to be trying to teach me? Some possibilities:

1) You play the hand you’re dealt, not the hand you wish you’d been dealt. Yes, it would be awesome to not have effing janked-up femurs that are effing put in wrong and effing eff up every effing thing I try to do on skates (besides turning my feet out), but I do have them. The sooner I stop angsting and start sticking to SRS PT, the sooner I can get out on the track and stay there.

2) The derby community is just mind-blowingly supportive. From One World to Jet City’s BSL to PFM to Bacon to Fast Girl to random encounters at session skates, I have met so.many.people willing to teach and laugh and share derby wisdom. It’s humbling and it inspires me to contribute.

3) Re-reading my entries from the past year, I realized that I get sick a lot. It sucks. I hate it. There are a lot of reasons for it, but they all fall under the umbrella of “I suck at taking care of myself.” Seriously. If I were my own kid, DCFS would have locked my ass up long ago. I’m kind of over that. Goal for 2013: take good care of me… which sounds like my next post.

Your turn: tell me all ’bout your 2012. What do you think you were supposed to learn? What did you *actually* learn? Much love, peoples.

The Bacon, She Is Made

I finished Bacon with perfect attendance. Scrimmage was addictive. Learning was happened. (Grammar, apparently, not so much.) Now what? My goal is that when I attend Bacon next year, I will be:
  • physically capable of completing all of the warm-ups and assisting struggling skaters from day one;
  • mentally alert with high pack awareness and thorough understanding of the rules;
  • emotionally confident and focused on positive outcomes;
  • socially proactive and highly encouraging of every skater and vocally grateful for the coaches;
  • able to skate an entire Rat City tryout by the time camp is over.
And, to break down what it will concretely take to achieve these goals…
  • To meet my physical goals, I need more endurance and more strength. I also need to improve my crossovers so that I can maintain the speed necessary to complete the warm-ups; more than anything else, I need to improve my stops so that I can safely decrease said speed. Actions: I will do Carmen Getsome’s plyometric workout at least once a week, practice stops at Lynnwood and PFM, and go to Team Lightning weekly practices when they resume.
  • To meet my mental goals, I need more time on skates. More comfortable on skates = less mental energy devoted to what my body is doing = more mental energy devoted to what is going on around me and what I can legally do in response. Actions: I will join PFM Core and continue session skating; I will also continue to study the WFTDA ruleset.
  • To meet my emotional goals, I need to increase my confidence until I genuinely believe that I am a future rollergirl. Actions: I will remind myself of stories like Dee Cap’s, Finny’s, and Slutnik’s at least once a day to reinforce that improvement does happen over time as long as you keep working. I will say to myself at least once a day, “I am a future rollergirl”, and I will visualize myself as a leagued skater.
  • To meet my social goals, I need to keep up my current practices, as I am strong in this dimension of derby-ness. Actions: I will praise at least one skater at or after every practice and thank at least one coach at or after every practice.
  • To meet my Rat City tryout goal, I need to act like I’m on a mission from Gahd. Actions: I will meet all of the action items above, plus pray to Nasal Midwestern Gahd to use some clout and get me through. 😉

There you have it: the roadmap to Bacon 2013. It’s gonna be sweet. 😀

Careless Talk

So I haven’t written in a while. Does that mean that not much has happened? Pff! Dear Reader, you misunderestimate me. Allow me to recap:

–For most of March, I skated with the lovely and kind ladies at One World Roller Derby. They taught me beaucoup, evaluated me, and offered me a spot on one of their four new teams. I was all “yay!” and then all “omgwtfbbq I already am sleep-deprived on an unteamed practice schedule what am I thinking?” So I decided to be a drop-in skater instead, which is cool, because I can enjoy their awesomeness when I’m up for it, and I can stay home and sleep when I’m up for that, and do either without affecting team unity. Is suave! 
–Then I got sick. Then I got well, and then I got sick again, and then I got well, and then I got sick again, only this time I threw up for a solid ninety minutes and ended up in the hospital hooked up to an IV. It may surprise you, but I did not do a hell of a lot of skating throughout that process.
–I went to the doctor, and was referred to a chiropractor, and learned that I was on the sickercoaster because my back was utterly janked (in part from falling down the stairs in March and faceplanting into a wall, AWESOME) and as a result my immune system was hamstrung. Very cool, in the “very uncool” sense. Started treatment for that and am slowly feeling better.
–As part of an “I’ll do it if you do it” pact with a fabulous derbyfriend, I signed up for Bacon. Definitely feelin’ the old Impostor Syndrome kicking in (“oh no I shouldn’t have signed up for Novice Derby level I haven’t even scrimmaged I’ll suck and they’ll hate me for wasting their time aah“), but dammit, I’ve been skating for over a year. I’m not great. Some days, I’m not even meh. But I can make it through a regular PFM practice without dropping out of any drills, I don’t take criticism personally and I try new things even when they scare me–if that ain’t enough, they can bump me down to Beginning Skater, no hard feelings.
–I realized that I am incredibly hard on myself. See, I’ve barely skated since the sick stuff started. From this fact, I concluded that I was No Longer A Skater and Totally Washed Up. Even though I am currently WEARING MY SKATES, this afternoon’s inner dialogue went like so:

NiceJess: Man, it’s so nice to be on skates again. Thanks for letting me skate around the office on Fridays, Employer!
MeanJess: You skated down a carpeted hallway at a crawl.  
NiceJess: … but I skated!
MeanJess: Yeah, that makes three times on skates in the last two weeks. Real badass. Watch out, Carmen Getsome, Li’l Miss Hallway here is comin’ for you.
NiceJess: I’ve been sick.
MeanJess: With the lazy.
NiceJess: I thought that was called “recovery”.
MeanJess: “Recovery” is what you do after a workout. Did you work out? No? Then you weren’t recovering. Real skaters skate, period.
NiceJess: *crawls under the desk and tries not to choke on her self-loathing*

Why am I such a schmuck to myself? I don’t talk to other people like that. I don’t talk about other people like that. It’s hurtful and discompassionate and small, and I strive not to be any of those things. So why is it okay for me to cut myself down?

Short answer is, it’s not. As I ease back into skating (hi Lynnwood!), I’m going to focus on one thing: positive self-talk. I have total faith that I will pick up all things skating and derby by attending practices, especially the crucible that is Bacon, but I gotta teach myself to cheerlead… myself.

What’s your self-talk like? Are you content with it? Does it help you? What does a “good” self-talk day look like for you?