Last night at the start of training the lovely Sin Amen Whip asked how I was going and I told her I had felt off for the last couple of days. She commented that at Tuesdays training she noticed I was a little “off” and she was bang on! It was a very “it’s not you, it’s me” moment, with that god-damn derby doubt rearing its ugly head once again.
from: Emerge Already
It happens to ALL of us. Roller derby is such an emotional roller coaster ride and each of our derby journeys are so so personal that you really have to separate yourself from others and stop comparing yourself to them and stop harshly judging yourself.
I have played team sports all my life (basketball) and I’d like to think I can be a great asset of support and encouragement to whoever is on my team. But when it comes to individual goal setting and focussing on my own accomplishments, pfft, all common sense, rationale and focus tends to go AWOL at times.
I found a fantastic little blog post over on Varsity Derby League’s blog which referenced Circle City Derby Girls skater Bunnie Low-Browski and her (excuse my Oprah referencing) “Aha! Moment” post entitled Lesson Twenty-Four: No shame in my game. Seriously, go read it. A lot of you will be nodding your head in agreement as you read Bunnie’s words.
To quote Bunnie: “I wish all the time that I had a video of everyone’s first practice. Just so you know- everyone sucks at first. Even speed skaters have to learn to juke. Jam skaters have to learn some strategy. Everyone has to learn how to hit. And yes. There will always be someone better than you, but they weren’t always. They got that way the same way you will- practice, practice, and more practice. Hold your head up and know that this is a very hard sport. There is no shame in learning. With a little patience and a lot of determination you are well on your way to derby greatness.”
All of us will face some type of self-doubt through our derby journeys, IT IS inevitable. But it’s how you deal with it that will determine your overall experience with this sport.
Listening to Sin’s own derby experience of coming back from injury last year and how hard she’s been working to recover quickly was impressive. Everyone will have doubt – be it coming back from injury, seeing your team mates progress faster than you, or joining a new league and asking yourself if you’re any good at this anyway?
Last night I walked away from training on a high. I asked questions when we were doing drills, got some really useful feedback on some blocking techniques I needed to work on and skated 27 in 5 (after not doing ANY endurance since I left Adelaide!). That derby doubt had been thrown out the window and it was a nice feeling.
What do you do to combat your derby doubt when it rears its ugly head? Talk it out? Skate it out? Deal with it internally and brush it off like it’s just the normal ups and downs of derby?
I’m interested in how other people deal with this sort of thing. Comment…. and Go!