Get up.

I left my skate bag with Chic and Destroy after the accident. Not on purpose, I just didn’t really need it and kept forgetting to go pick it up from her. It’s been a little over 3 and a half months since I broke my ankle. Chic was there when I broke it on the mini-ramp at the indoor skate-park. We were rookies together and then later teammates on Public Frenemy.

She dropped it off at my place yesterday.

It turned into a really nice, sunny day. I drag my skate bag up a few blocks and I find a fairly quiet paved street. Ideally, void of too many twigs and leaves and gravel. I’m sitting on the curb and a car or two drives by, the driver turns and stares at me as they slowly cruise past. My skate bag is beside me, zipped closed. I’m trying to visualize the most positive thing possible. And I feel a bit bummed. I’m scared. I’m trying to remember what it was like to rollerskate for the first time and toddle down the back alley of my apartment 5+ years ago. If that girl could do it then I could surely do this.

I’m sitting on the curb and the fear is there. The fear is a bitch but it exists and that’s just the way it is. Most people that accomplish big things are scared before they do it or at the time it’s happening. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

I open the bag finally. See my skates tucked in there. Ragged and tattered as usual. My dumb helmet with the broken buckle that I didn’t end up fixing for all of Divisionals AND the World Cup, just tied it in a knot around the side strap – Truly a roller derby hobo after all. I turn my skates over and spin the wheels. See whether they’re doing okay. They’re alright, they are dirt-bag-alright. As in, I never check my wheels and I really must be delaying this moment if I’m actually twisting them to see how they look, along with the trucks. I think, Rollergirl would be proud of me…but in truth, she would know I didn’t really know what I was doing and was just fucking around at this point.

You can do this. You were meant to do this. This is one of those things you were meant to be great at.

And as I’m about to pull on a skate, a bright pink post-it falls out.

“You are 100% strong enough for this.”

I start to laugh cry. Dammit, Chic.

Then there’s another one.

“Hi hi hi! We missed you!”

And,

“Do big things! Make big plays!”

Finally,

“Be patient and kind to yourself because you are worth the wait.”

I tuck the notes into my skate bag.

I grab my skates and lace them up. Then I pull on my knee pads, wrist guards, and helmet.

I get up and skate.

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Caption: Stick n’ Poke tattoo done by ME. Cankle done by ME. This skating lesson is brought to you by ME. 

Riot grrrl

Photo: Me as a baby, aka 19 years old.


What do you guys want to read about? I might write an essay comparing Cholita Wrestlers to Roller Derby and emphasize the importance of economy amongst women-led/featured organizations.  What do you want to know?

Weekend Recap: Terminal Ends Montreal’s streak; Betties advance in ToRD; Hammer City wins second in a row

Love you, Terminal!

The Derby Nerd

A busy weekend in Canadian derby at all levels, from WFTDA sanctioned competition to B-team play to house league playoffs.

The final score also showing the 14-7 score of the frantic final jam (from the All Stars Facebook page; photo by Bob Ayers) The final score also showing the 14-7 score of the frantic final jam (from the All Stars Facebook page; photo by Bob Ayers)

Terminal City All Stars 182 vs. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block 177

It’s been a long time coming. Forever, actually. At least in derby time.

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Montreal Roller Derby’s New Skids on the Block lost a full-length WFTDA sanctioned game to a Canadian team for the first time in history when Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars defeated them on a frantic last jam, 182-177, at The Big O in Eugene, Oregon.

It put an end to a streak of national dominance that I doubt we will ever see again. Although Terminal had defeated Montreal once before in a short, non-regulation game

View original post 1,186 more words

Sending my love to Eugene, Or.

Well, it turns out that I can’t make it down to Eugene, OR for the BIG O TOURNAMENT. A goddamn shame because I would have liked to have watched some incredible roller derby, given BIG HUGS to my teammates, and said HELLO to Montreal and all of my lovely Team Canada teammates. But it’s just not in the cards and that’s how life is, sometimes. No regrets, take everything in stride and be thankful to stride (trust me – I AM).

HOWEVER, should you be reading this and should you actually care that I didn’t make it down there. I ask of you this. Send your hello’s and love to my teammates instead! That’s right, I DARE YOU to go say HELLO or HUG one of the Terminal City girls, and tell them you’re sending it to me through them. Have a favourite skater on TCRG? Now’s the time to kill your idols, I just gave you the best dare in the world to abolish your fears. Oh, yes, I did. And what is roller-derby, if it isn’t for a few dares and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

DISCLAIMER: Be mindful of when skater’s are “in-the-zone” right before or after games. A skater with their headphones in = bad time to approach. Skaters in sneakers walking from one zone to the next is generally a good time to interrupt. Or, most especially, at the after-party. Which we always kill, for the record. 

AND, please don’t forget to say hello to the ever-dapper Bob Ayers and the wonderful TJ Chase. Both photographers from Vancouver, BC Canada. Both fantastic and talented people. And both worth chatting with, if they aren’t in the middle of shooting.

P.S. If you actually accept this dare, I am open to taking on whatever truth or dare you have for me. Cuz hey, reciprocity is sexy.

Reaching Out: Roller Derby Injuries & Mental Health

When recovering from injury, it’s important to be aware of your mental well-being and take proper care. For myself, I want to break down the whole “reaching out” for help with an injury but also with any mental health impact you might experience while injured. I’m not saying that injuries are synonymous with mental illness or depression, but HEY. It’s a thing for many, and it’s worth talking about.

Often, when you’re going through tough times, people say things like: Don’t forget to reach out. Hey, if you need some help, reach out. You’re injured? Call me, don’t be afraid to reach out.

I have said this before. I’ve heard people say this to me. I’ve heard other people say this to their friends. Overall, it’s intended as a nice statement, it means that the person who says it will try to be there for you when you need it. It’s a respectful space fulness that allows the person experiencing things to contact them whenever they feel comfortable enough to do so. It’s a totally reasonable thing to say to someone.

On one hand, you might just need some help vacuuming your apartment and feel awkward asking a friend to help you out. On the flipside, you might just need to go for coffee with someone because your brain has made you feel like an entirely different person and you have cabin fever and you might totally lose it if you spend one more day with your leg propped up in bed. *cough, cough* Spoken from experience.

So… why is it so hard to reach out? Or, why is it so hard for ME to reach out? I’m going to talk subjectively about this and to be clear, I don’t have a psychology degree, I’m not a social worker, and I have no edumacation on any of this. But I have dealt with depression and anxiety for over half of my life. I don’t often talk about it because I don’t like to lend it weight. I don’t like pity, I don’t like to cause concern, especially amongst those who don’t know me well. I’ve found a number of ways to respond to my situations in the best way possible. My ability to sort myself out is my own business and I’ve developed an overall pro-activity that makes me feel well equipped to weather any storm. It’s taken me years to develop and I am proud of myself for getting where I am currently.

But in recent news, a young skater took their own life due to the difficulty of coping with their current situation. It’s tragic and very sad and is worth educating yourself about (click the subsequent links to Derby Central and Derby Frontier). I felt like talking about mental health seemed timely. And while this isn’t about their specific experience, it really made me think a lot about what it means to “reach out”.

As strong as we can be, injuries and depression are an absolute whirlwind to deal with. This injury sent me through a bit of a doozy a couple of weeks ago. Part of it, I should note, is caused by lack of cardio exercise I can do because of my ankle break, something I consciously incorporate into my life to function as a mild-anti-depressant because endorphins – They be magical.

Mental health is very personal business for some. Which makes sense because for most, there’s nothing worse than getting unsolicited advice from people regarding it. Or feeling pressured into talking about it when you don’t really want to.

While I choose not to talk about it regularly, I understand what these Mental Health Awareness campaigns are all about. Those that encourage TALKING about mental health. There is a relative level of education that the greater public needs to experience to better understand how mental illness affects the people around them, from all socio-economic statuses, genders, sexualities, cultures, and age groups in life. There is a normalization needed regarding mental illness and how we create environments that don’t alienate people when they are not at their most functional or when they are in vulnerable periods of their life.

What is really needed here? I’m careful of these meme’s or posts about how to treat people with mental illness. I think that it sometimes generalizes things too much and fails to understand how people are different with how they seek help and support. It creates a homogeneous response rather than seeing it as potentially diverse and case-by-case. That being said, there’s some basic stuff in those posts that is pretty solid to reference if you’re trying to figure out how to be supportive: Listen to the person, you don’t need an answer to everything, stay in contact with them.

So back to my first question: Why do I find it difficult to reach out when I’m injured?

Part of this is because, while I don’t like to admit it, I’m in a vulnerable state. During this injury, I’ve realized this: While I am physically vulnerable, it’s important to work past believing I may be perceived as weak or unable to cope. Hell, we can back this up and say that even if we’re just feeling depressed and feeling vulnerable, it’s still not weak if you ask for help – that is and always will be a strength.

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Photo by TJ Chase Photography

Here’s what I do when I’m experiencing this:

I SAY: HEY BRAIN, THIS IS WHAT IS UP! 
(P.S. These steps are what I use for myself, you are advised to take this with a grain of salt and develop ones that work best for you).

Step 1 – Remember, you are not asking for people to fix you.

You’re asking for people to hang out along the way as you get better. This is not a forever-situation. This is a curve back to your regular (or future), functional self. People that care about one another want to walk with you for a while, it’s normal. Ever read the book, Wild? Think of that as your metaphor, there’s going to be people who want to walk with you for a part of the way. They won’t or can’t be there the whole way. This is your journey and you will get there. Haven’t read Wild? I dunno, go watch the movie trailer and you’ll get the gist: Reese Witherspoon self-exploratory adventure-hike film. Yadda, yadda.

Step 2 – Rollerderby is about being the strongest person you can be. Not a fake strong-person, a YOU-person.

I have trained myself to put my strongest self forward. Said in robot-voice: I am co-captain, must not show weakness. Must give it my all. Must lead by example.

THAT BEING SAID, cut yourself a fucking break, robot-face. You can be strong and that doesn’t mean that you need to hide yourself. The whole facade/character/persona thing in roller derby is SOOO 2009. Part of being strong and in control is knowing yourself and feeling strong enough to communicate where you’re at to the people around you. That doesn’t mean being passive-aggressive or guilt-tripping or having unreasonable expectations of people. Or expecting people to carry you out of the hole you might feel you’re in. For me, it means having big enough ovaries to talk about where I’m at and where I’m going. And it’s all going up from here, my friend, we’re always digging our way up.

Step 3 – Giving People a Heads-up is a good thing!

I have a friend that is extremely open about their mental state and while I don’t think I could be that open about it – I see value in how they approach it. Because it gives your peers and friends a heads-up as to why you might not be out and about. It also helps people not get the wrong idea. To say, hey, I’m not feeling up to it lately, feeling mentally low… But let’s touch base next week. This kind of messaging is a totally okay and normal thing to do for your friends and family. If you’re not familiar with vocalizing these kinds of things because you’re still struggling with coping, that’s ok. Keep working on it. It gets easier over time.

Recently, I talked about where I’m at mentally with a few teammates lately, and it’s totally awesome how understanding people are regarding it and how they shared how they went through it to with whatever previous injury they experienced. OMG, bonding with people is the best. Feeling in common helps the “Am-I-Crazy” question go far, far away to a distant, shitty planet produced by LucasFilms in the mid-2000s.

Step 4 – Your injury and your mental state is not WHO you are.

It does not define the person that you’re capable of being or a permanent state you will be in. Everything in life changes, everything has ebbs and flows. Things go up, they come down. I love this quote that I read a while ago, tough times don’t last, tough people do. When shit really hits the fan, I think of this affirmation. I also like to imagine myself as a rad, old person telling that back to me, and potentially laughing at my young/naive ways (see: older blog post about being the kind voice to yourself that is encouraging…for me, sometimes the voice is a future-me that believes that I’ll get where I need to go). Woo-hoo, getting an inside PEEK on how my brain works! We play roller derby, I’m assuming at least 70% of us are big-time weirdos and I whole-heartedly embrace this.

Step 5 – Reaching out in a way that’s comfortable for you

Take it easy. Take it step by step. Not good at asking for help? Anytime you’re about to say “no” to help, or make an excuse, ask yourself if this is the time you could possibly feel comfortable enough to be okay with it this one time? Maybe? Then take a risk and try it. It gets easier over time, it begins to feel better.

Remember, you don’t even have to mention where you’re at emotionally. Reaching out doesn’t necessarily mean you have to share your life-story. Do what feels comfortable and what feels right with the people around you who are nice enough to be supportive as you work through your injury.

Finally,

Step 6 – Don’t be afraid of professional help

Don’t be afraid of professional help that YOU feel comfortable with and consent to. If things are really taking a turn for the worse and your holistic approaches are not doing it for you, remember, you are a warrior. You are strong and capable and there is no harm in going to a doctor and talking about a process to get yourself back on the right track. Whether that means counselling or taking medication or seeing a naturopath or whatever. You are a strong and beautiful person who is meant for great things. This is one of those terrific challenges that will build you into a future self that will look back at this situation with pride. Remember, it might hurt right now, but you can do this. I believe in you.

…..

Tips for Helping!
Before I wrap this post up, I want to offer some tips for teammates or friends who want to try and help their injured/downed skater.

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 Thinking: “This is gonna suck…” | Photo by Bob Ayers

Here’s a roller derby visual for people to understand injuries and mental health and how to help:

It’s a scrimmage scenario. The jammer is the person dealing with depression due to an injury (or otherwise). They are on their own for a lap, trying to imagine the best way to get through what they’re dealing with. They are solo, they have isolated themselves but they know they have to prepare themselves because they are quickly approaching the pack. When they hit the pack, the blockers step in. The blockers can’t “SAVE” the jammer. They can’t solve the situation for the jammer. They can’t remove the opposing players, they can’t alter the environment. But they can help make it easier, they can soften the blow. They can create a situation where the pack is easier to get through. And for those blockers who were able to take a second to look and create an offensive move to screen one opposing player for her, it’s appreciated. The jammer is still doing most of the work. She has to dig in, believe in herself, and keep plowing through walls and big hits. She will get out of the pack. And maybe she’ll call the jam and things are all good for a while. Or she might have to run the gauntlet again. In which case, she’ll need to reach out to her teammates to help her get through the pack again.

There are lots of resources out there on how to help people going through issues. Yeah, some of those meme’s/blog posts I was semi-critical about further above. It gives some tips on how to approach it if you’re totally uncertain or inexperienced with knowing what to do when someone is feeling unwell. Everyone is different, just keep trying to be the best teammate or friend you can be. Learning how to best respond is a process, too!

To close, I just want to mention that I know that many people and women in roller derby who are challenged with various mental health issues whether they are injured or not. If you are reading this, to me, you are a hero when you step on that track. When you wipe those tears from the parking lot to the arena. When you shake it off so you can focus on your team. When you turn your sadness into a proficient competitiveness during practice. I am your biggest fan even on your hardest day because I know how difficult those days can be.

We have the opportunity to create an inclusive environment in roller derby in which we should aim to try to support each other. As a community, we can get better than this. We can build something that is rarely seen in the wider mainstream culture. That’s what makes roller derby so special to me. We are a unique island of how the world could be, and yeah, it’s not perfect and it’s got a suitcase of baggage and drama. But we can do this, we can make better environments. We are those people. This is an area in life where we are empowered and encouraged to be the change we want to see, so let’s step it up and reach out to each other and move forward together. Let’s learn from our past, from our mistakes, our short-comings and work towards change. Grab your teammate, grab yo’ friend.

We’ve got bigger fish to fry, a current hegemony to take down, a movement to keep pushing forward.

Keep healthy, keep well, keep track of yourself.

xo Buffy.

P.S. Thanks to those who messaged me after this post. Ironically, it made me feel super uncomfortable! Which is hilarious. I’m still glad I wrote the post though.


Take note, if you are in need of immediate help, please contact the following services:

Suicide Prevention: Find a Centre across Canada

Here to Help – Suicide Prevention

Trans help line across Canada: To reach the Trans Lifeline toll-free from anywhere in Canada, dial 1-877-330-6366.
Trans Helpline

Mental Help Line Canada

USA Suicide Prevention Line

Hello!

Sweet jeebuz, who knew what a following Ms. Evada Peron had? More people have visited this blog than I could have ever imagined. Did they even bother reading a thing? Do they hate my spelling mistakes? Who knows!

If you somehow found this tiny blanket fort of roller-derby gems hidden in a corner of the internet then, HELLO. And I hope it’s helpful. And if it ain’t, no sweat. And, happy fort-building as you keep on doing what you need to do.

Follow me on instagram. @buffysaintefury

 

Plateaux & Walls; or, Damn, I need to get better.

DEFINITIONS –

Plateau: Riding your current skill set. The plus side of the plateau is that it gives you time to perfect those moves you’ve mastered. The bad side of the plateau (and let’s face it, plateaux/plateaus are bad) is that it means you are no longer pushing yourself to exceed your current ability.

Hitting the wall: Realizing the extent in which your skill set and fitness can take you. This awareness follows the plateau, you know that to move forward, you need to climb that wall. Hitting the wall can be frustrating because it’s a wake up call that you need to try harder. This might mean addressing your fitness plan, mental game, and/or strategic skill set. It means believing that you need to do more or change what you’re doing to reach that next summit.

The Beginning

We all hit the wall, it’s going to happen. The worst thing is if you don’t know if you hit the wall. Or even worse, that you don’t realize that hitting the wall and dealing with plateaux is a continuous process throughout your life. Like, not just roller-derby, people. IN EVERYTHING. IT NEVER ENDS.

That every skater you admire out there is currently dealing with a constant battle of plateaus and walls. There is no moment in time where you can stick your flag in the ground and say, I MADE IT. It might seem that way, you might see that skater’s guns and say, well, she no longer needs to work on that! Wrong, that person most likely has a complex set of goals she’s trying to reach and you’re only seeing a part of what she’s working on.

Having the ability to assess yourself in a positive way is an absolute must in terms of your personal critical development. You know your body and ability best. As much as you want to hear feedback from other people, you need to hone your perception of yourself. This alone will contribute to what kind of skater you can become. By leaning too hard on third party compliments or critiques, you aren’t developing your own mental drive and self-planning. There comes a balance with everything in life.


Step 1 – Battle the Negativity Monster

Even if this isn’t new to you, you’re going to hear the negativity monster whispering in your ear: “You’re not good enough, you’re too slow, you’re not strong…” Etc etc. We’ve all had this happen in some form of another. This is your first battle, you need to kill this voice. Whatever that voice is telling you is straight up wrong, you’re in control of the present and can plan for the future. Much of this comes with digging deep and finding a belief in oneself. I say this like it’s easy, it’s not. People spend their whole lives trying to find this.

But imagine this: Imagine you could talk to your former rookie self. The one that hasn’t even tried their skates on yet. You would tell them that they can’t even believe how much they are going to learn over just a few months. To keep it up, to keep trying, to not give up. See how rad that voice is? What a nice voice. You can be that voice for yourself.

A few years ago, I came back from divisionals and just cried. We played against some of the hardest teams in WFTDA and it was clear to me, I was not at that level. You know the feeling when you’re physically beat on the track, they be faster, smarter and physically stronger than you. I was so unhappy with my performance. I had a sulky 3-day period where I ate junk food, drank beer, watched the footage over and over so I could figure out where the lack was, and talked endlessly about it to my partner. After day 3, I picked my sorry self up from the couch, dusted off those chip crumbs and dragged myself to the gym. The moral of this story, I guess, is that I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel good enough to have competed at that level. So I had a few options, sulk and throw up my arms. Or, I had to admit to myself that my current training plan was not pushing me enough to become a better skater. And I needed to put more time into cross-training and on-skates training. My inner voice said: You’re not at that level yet, but you will be. Because this sport has already made you the strongest you’ve ever been in your whole life. You can be stronger but you have to try harder.

I should note, something that is not an inherent trait of mine, is being blind towards my lack of progress. I’m an overly…critical person. Every day of my life is filled with, I’m not there yet and I’m not good enough yet but I will be, type sentiments. If you’re someone who is frustrated with people not recognizing your ability and yet you’re constantly patting yourself on the back, then you’re in need of re-evaluating how you self-assess.

I’m not saying you need to be negative all the time because I think it’s awesome to be positive about yourself. And I think women can sometimes struggle with balancing their negative and positive internal voice. But at the end of the day, as an ATHLETE, there is a realness one must face. Finding your constructive inner voice and learning to work WITH IT, not against it (“Nah, that voice is wrong, I’m GREAT and I’m going to stay as-is FOREVER!”) is key with you moving ahead and seeing progress in yourself.

You always have a choice. You can choose to stay the same, or you can brave change and grow.

Step 2 – Chip, Chip Away

After killing the above mentioned monster, you’re set to hit the road. This is the path to climb the wall and get to your next level. This is exciting. You can do this. Grab your backpack, pull on your skates and prepare yourself to feel fucking exhausted.

Track your progress

If you need further affirmation, to kill the negative voice then be sure to create specific goals for yourself (use the SMART goal-setting theory) and log your progress. For myself, I didn’t feel quick enough a couple of years ago so I started running 3-5K intervals 3 times a week. Week by week, I closed the gap on time it took to run 5K, cutting off seconds each time I ran. After a month, I felt better. I felt more confident. When the next season hit, I found myself out of the lower-mid range of fast skaters on the team and had worked myself up to be ghosting behind our top jammers. It was a good feeling of success.

Keep it Consistent

When I first joined roller derby, I was straight up beat and worn out after tournaments. Tournaments kicked my ass. I found for myself, mentally and physically preparing for tournaments was really important. I wanted to walk away from each one feeling like I was stronger than the last time. Training for tournaments became important and it was a new thing for me.

If you’re slacking on your cross-training, you know that worried feeling you have when facing a game. Like, yikes, I hope I do okay. Listen, if you’re trying to become a better skater, you need to quash that fear prior to tournaments. “I hope I do OK” is not the confidence you’re looking for. Fear/Doubt + Tournaments are not an equation that will work to your favour. Trust me.

Consistency in training is empowering, if you have a consistent plan (where you know you’re pushing yourself) there is no way you can’t improve. It is physically impossible to not improve. There’s also a lot of self affirmation that can occur with a consistent program, where you know in your own heart that you’ve tried your hardest and have put in the time to prove it. And that you know following this tournament you’re going to keep at it and continuously work harder.

Brave the mountain, look up at the path of where you’re headed and feel good at the points you reach while climbing. You’re not going to reach the top in one day, one week, one month. It’s a season long process, it’s years of an ongoing effort.

3 – Know Yourself

Have you ever had a game where you felt beat by your opponents? That feeling is shitty. And you know what else? It’s not okay. It’s not okay to accept feeling beat by your opponents. To wipe your hands clean and say, “Well, I guess they are just better than me!” And laugh or shrug about it. With every jammer that is faster than you and evades your block, every blocker that manages to hit you to the ground. You need to find it within yourself to feel angry about that, and believe that you are going to keep that from happening ever again. With every. single. skater. that. you’re. up. against.

Yes. Even the best skater in your house-league. Even the travel-team skaters that you know. Even the top 5 teams in WFTDA. Even Sexy Slaydie, Scald Eagle, Fifi Nomenon, Smarty Pants. Everyone.

Which brings us to…

4 – Kill Your Idols

Roller derby is kind of amazing because we’ve created a sport where we are encouraged to celebrate women, women as athletes and leaders and all-around people worth admiring. In a world where there is a lack of this, in general, roller derby is built around this philosophy. It’s pretty beautiful. It’s part of what drew me to this sport.

THAT BEING SAID. There is one thing to admire roller derby athletes and there is another thing to make celebrities out of people. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT. The fear you have with approaching a skater because you’re afraid because they are famous! They are sponsored! They are on a top 5 team! everybody knows their name! EEEEEEEK!

Heading into the World Cup, a league-mate mentioned Stefanie Mainey and said, “Nobody can stop her!”

To which I said, “Yeah, they can. Anyone can be stopped.”

“Not her!”

“Anyone.”

Take those skaters off their pedestals, knock it to the floor. No one shits gold, no skill set is unattainable if you’re willing to put in the effort. And trust me, it may take years of effort. I don’t care how famous someone is or was or can be, as a skater training to be my personal best, I have to hone an internal voice that believes that I can be better than them. that I can effectively stop jammers or execute better strategy. This isn’t a narcissistic ego thing (and watch yo’self with that), it’s essential to believing that one has the ability to succeed.

Does this sound crazy impossible to you? You need to believe it’s not. You sincerely, sincerely do. Stop fan girl-ing and get to practice.

5 – Define Success

The ability to succeed. Define that for yourself, and what that means for you with every practice you attend, every bout you play, every tournament you enter and every season. You have your training goals but you also need to make attainable goals throughout your season to help benchmark your progress.

For myself, it changes. It might be to prevent skaters from beating me on the inside/outside lines. Last season, it was apex jumping so I could beat jammers to the front of the pack before they could escape for another lap of points. Previously it’s been working on my balance and strength so that when I’m hit, I can catch myself and prevent myself from being knocked to the ground.

Because throughout your self-critique to help drive yourself forward towards your potential, you do need to benchmark success. And you are succeeding. There are small wins throughout your progress and it’s important to be able to reflect on them.

6 – The Beat Goes On

Celebrating your development is super important. And it’s something I always need to remind myself to do. Because I’m always on the move to the next big thing. Keep in mind, this trek will be repeated throughout your  time playing roller-derby. You’re going to go through routine periods of self-assessment and amping your training. Don’t feel discouraged, accept this challenge. Accept that this sport is about continuously growing and you’ll be fine. Wait, scratch that. You won’t be just fine. You’re going to be great.