Thursday, March 19, 2009

Out of Derby Experience

Outside of derby I do have other things that I love to do, and some of those things are even things that I want to get better at doing, but after a hard day at the office or some upsetting news, or even just the overwhelming desire to stay in, sit on the couch, and eat chocolate, I can decide to not do those things and when I’m ready, I’ll just pick them back up wherever I left off. With derby, not so much.

Pottery classes or book clubs don’t have attendance requirements. You go when you want, and you don’t go when you don’t want. For this reason, never have I found such anxiety with a hobby than I do with derby, yet never have I found such reward either.

Last night was one of those nights where if I didn’t have attendance requirements and wasn’t trying to get better at such a rapid pace, I wouldn’t have gone. This work week has been exhausting, and by the time I was leaving to head to the rink last night, I could have very easily curled up on the sofa with the dog and been just fine. Regardless, I went, and it was actually easier to go last night, now that I have more strict attendance requirements, than it has been in similar circumstances before I made the All Stars. I think my choice to try out and want to be an All Star means I can more easily accept what comes with it even though it’s stricter.

When I got to the rink last night, I did get a piece of good news from our captain who has been trying to call me for the last day – she’s 90% sure I’ll be on the roster for our game against Carolina in May. This is excellent news! I had originally been told that because I hadn’t played with the team, it would likely be June or July before I was ready to be rostered for a game. That’s not to imply that this decision was based purely on performance – there are other factors that play into it, but this opportunity in May is my chance to continue to work my ass off and prove to the team that I am a valuable player and my performance is valuable too. I did tell my captain that I was excited and would be working hard. She asked if I was surprised about May, and I told her that I have been training as if April were a possibility. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but why would I not go ahead and prepare? Because I have time to “stall”? No – I don’t want to be that person anymore. My preparing for April, even though I knew it was a long-shot, would only make me a better player. Hence, why I went to practice last night.

Even after hearing this wonderful news, my tired body fought my giddy mind, and I had what I could only describe as an “out of derby” experience. I was there physically, but it was as if I was standing outside myself. I knew when I needed to jump out of the way, but I couldn’t do it in time. I knew when I was about to cut track and that I should adjust, but I didn’t. It wasn’t as if I didn’t care – it was more like I couldn’t get my brain and body to work together, which is possibly one of the most frustrating feelings ever.

After my first scrimmage jam of the night, having almost immediately gotten sent to the box for a major for back blocking and then going back out with only 30 seconds left in the jam and being sent back to the box for another major for cutting track, I decided that I would use the night to try and pull myself out of the out of derby experience. After all, I’ve had this same feeling on some bout days, and if I’m going to be participating at such a high level of competition now, I need to find a way to get focused and get my head in the game, regardless of how I feel leading up to it. Easier said than done. The more active I got, the more I was able to pull myself out of it, but I’m not sure I was entirely back to “normal” by the end of the night either. This is something I will continue to work on.

Tomorrow I’ll be traveling up to Boston and then Maine for away games on Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday, I’ll be announcing in Boston, which is the second best role I can have there, with skating being the absolute best. I’m excited to announce, and I’m really looking forward to this game – hopefully it will finally put to rest any recent issues surrounding rankings. Maine should be a great time as well. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to blog about on Monday, so I'll talk to you then!


DayGlo Divine said...

I wish you were playing in April so we'd all get to see the Battle of the Booty. :D

Erica Ortiz said...

Have you tried taking a B12 supplement before practice? I do it before every practice, and it helps me get back my energy after a long day at work.