Friday, October 24, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I FINALLY finished jury duty yesterday, and I’ll blog about it next week. Today, I want nothing more than to get back to normal.

Last night I attended the first open skate I had been to in well over a year, and it was an awesome scene – I couldn’t believe how many rollergirls were in attendance. With try-outs next Tuesday, it’s not entirely surprising, but I don’t think I’ve seen that many rollergirls at an open skate since before we started holding closed practices nearly four years ago.

We outnumbered the other skate patrons last night. Stinky skate bags ruled the benches that the kids and teenagers usually congregate on. I don’t know if the other people stayed away from us because we stank, were cursing, or were just not well understood.

For me, it’s completely different skating in the dark with flashing lights, dodging kids skating the wrong way or falling in front of me. I actually lost my balance a couple of times, which made me feel like an idiot, because I was suppose to be there to help the skater tots cram for Tuesday’s test. Thrown off or not, I did wind up helping, and I was happy to see the skill level of the newbies coming in. I swear to you that each group coming in gets better and better, which amazes me.

I was also happy to see ladies of all shapes and sizes preparing to try out (circle gets the square). Some are tall and were struggling with plow stops, because they were self-conscious about their long legs having to extend out further than everyone else’s. Others just felt self-conscious about spreading their legs. I became self conscious about the same thing last night, but only because I had worn a mini-skirt that exposed my crotch to everyone at Skateland when I demonstrated the plow stop. It’s one thing to expose yourself at Skateland when it’s just you and your girls at a closed practice – it’s an entirely different thing to flash your striped cotton panties to the 45-year-old jam skater who then started to linger at the end of the rink on which we were practicing. Yick!

Most of all, I was happy to see how encouraging all the skater tots were to each other. I didn’t detect a single twinge of an “I’m better than you” or “you’re not going to make the cut” attitude. I’m so proud of our league for not even putting up with the petty bullshit. Even the tots know derby is a place to build people up and not tear them down, and I think that’s cool.

Today at 10am I went over to my alma mater, Towson University, and spoke about roller derby to a Sports Management class for an hour. I must admit that I was nervous going into this, even though I had completed a thorough outline and prepared to speak. I still got a case of the nerves, because I had no idea how these kids would react in a Friday morning class to me discussing what is predominantly a women’s sport.

The class went well. There were only two chicks in it, but the guys seemed as interested as the ladies were. I ran my big, fat mouth for the entire class and only had time to take two questions (the plan was to take questions for the last 20 minutes). Oh, well. What can I say, I love to talk about derby. But you all wouldn’t know that, now would you.

I felt kind of old going back to my school to speak to a class, but I got over that too. The decision last night about what to wear was an odd one. Not only would I be educating them about the sport, but I would also be speaking to the business of derby. Do I appear professional or do I wear booty shorts? Okay, it never actually entered my mind to wear booty shorts. Instead, I wore jeans, my CCRG logo tee, a pinstriped vest, and heels. Oh, and I did my hair and makeup – much more than my coworkers get out of me on a Friday!

I’m finally back to normal – busy at work in my office and totally consumed with derby. I was thinking as I walked back to my car from the classroom that I’m one of the busiest women I know, if not the busiest, yet I don’t always see myself that way. In a way, I’m lucky, because I’m busy doing things that I love. “You only live once” is the mantra I live by, so I suppose it’s a blessing to be consumed with something you’re so passionate about. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Most of all, I was happy to see how encouraging all the skater tots were to each other."

I think this skater-tot culture is phenomenal (and can easily guess the official derby crew is just as supportive since the ones that have stopped by Open Skate have been so helpful & sweet).

Everyone encourages everyone else and, whenever one tot has an "ah-ha!" moment of understanding a skill, she immediately shares it with anyone still struggling to see if it helps them get it too.