Friday, January 5, 2007

What’s a Girl to Do?

With the ongoing refinement of the WFTDA and their rule set and their re-opening of league applicants, it’s no doubt that roller derby leagues across the country are stepping up their game.

Practices are becoming more frequent and more intense, and it’s easy to get down on yourself if you can’t keep up with endurance practices. This past week, out of a practice of 40 women, I counted the number of people NOT in the current drill. It was astounding: 10 ladies stretching out their back or leg cramps and 4 skating at their own pace along the outside of the rink. That’s 14 people – a whole team’s worth of skaters.

The funny thing is that nearly every person I’ve talked to who “can’t keep up” at one time or another thinks she’s the only one. She’s not.

Once I started looking around I noticed that the 14 not in the drill were not what I would have expected – they were skaters of all body types, and they were blockers AND jammers – some of our best jammers, in fact. So what does this tell us?

You aren’t alone.

Accept it, but know that like anything else you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if your will is strong enough. I live almost every aspect of my life with this in mind. I know I’ll only live once, and time is ticking away every day. If you want something out of life, you have to get out there and take it.

Now, notice I said I live “almost” every aspect of my life with this in mind. I’ve been successful in following my own advice in business and in my personal life, but I’ve never even considered that I could do this with respect to my body. It’s always been the one thing I feel I don’t have control over. But now I’m beginning to think that the “I will do this” attitude I use in other aspects of my life is a necessity, at least with me, in provoking actual change and accomplishment. I’ve always wanted to change my body’s physical parameters, but I never thought I actually could. So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, like many others in my league I’ve joined a gym to up the ante. I try to go at least twice a week to supplement the exercise I get at practice. I do calesthenics and sometimes my elliptical at home. I walk during my lunch break at work. And the most fun of all, I got Dance Dance Revolution for Christmas, which is more fun than exercise to me, but I do break out in a sweat trying to win the game!

The thing is, my body isn’t going to change next week. It may not even get to a level that would make me comfortable in endurance practices in 6 months, but I am doing something about it, and I’m doing my best.

Next time you’re ready to cry or strangle a coach with their whistle, remember that no one pays to come see you do an endurance practice. They come to see you play roller derby, and lets face it, none of us would be here unless we were good enough to compete. Endurance practices are suppose to be challenging. They’re suppose to be just out of reach. But they make us better, and eventually, if you want it bad enough, you’ll get it. Just give yourself some time and cut yourself a little slack. Also know that fit comes in many packages. I could try and persuade you all to “get skinny” but only because it would make it easier for me to punt you when our leagues play;) Thin shouldn’t be the goal here. It’s just the shape of the package, and as we all know if we look around, even some thin gals have problems keeping up.

Yours in solidarity.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Chantal found your blog and linked me to it. I hope you don't mind. This entry really hit close to home. Thanks for writing it, and most of all thanks for being there for me. I know we don't know each other super well, but I think you kick ass!

~Towering Inferno~