Monday, June 22, 2009

Facebook Makes My Soul Weep

Among the many reasons why Facebook is killing my soul is the fact that I rarely have time to post entries here anymore. I’ve become addicted to the instant gratification I get by posting a million 25-words-or-less “updates” per day via my phone. I’ve come to feel that by the time I sit down to write something, I’ve already said it all. Yet, I’ve in fact said nothing. Curse you, Facebook, and the false sense of socialization you provide for me! Today is the day I do what I should have done weeks ago – I’m removing the app from my phone, and I’m done with Facebook for the week.

There was just a slight twinge of panic when I deleted the app, similar to the panic I felt last year when I took my last Vicoden for the second shoulder injury. I shouldn’t have felt that way about prescription drugs, and I shouldn’t feel that way about living without Facebook either. It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I knew things were coming to this last week while toilet surfing – I almost posted exactly what I was doing, as if telling the world I was making Mr. Hankeys was somehow acceptable now. Thank dog, I held myself back. Then yesterday I got a glimpse of the derby attitude I had before the massive Facebook obsession took its hold on me. I was blogging more, so I was more focused on derby. I knew where I stood and where I wanted to go, and I felt good about it! Lately, though, the lack of blogging has made me sad and confused. I guess I need to “get it out” so I can understand whatever “it” is that’s bothering me. And, well, you know me – I’m extremely long winded, so it’s completely understandable that I cannot accomplish a similar discussion with myself via a fucking Facebook update… While on the toilet (?!). I’ve boiled down everything important in my life to 1 to 2 sentences. Well, here’s 1 to 2 sentences: “Cindy’s taking her life back. Fuck you, Facebook.”

So much has gone on since I last blogged. I’ve noticed in myself a deep dip into self-doubt – similar to the negative self talk I use to have with myself back when I would choke doing anything derby-playing related. I’m a mental player, and I need my mind to be clear when I go into a game. I need to relearn how to focus, and I need to practice getting myself out of that place while in the midst of a game. This was the sole focus of my therapy session last week.

This past weekend made me proud to be a Charm City All Star – I wasn’t one of the 14 rostered to skate against Texas, but I’m super proud of my girls for bringing it and creating a point spread of 8 measly points, even though they lost.

This weekend is ECE in Philly, and I’ll be playing in our game against Detroit on Saturday, which is unfortunately almost entirely overlapping with the headlining Philly/Rat City game. Two weeks later I’m headed to Kansas City to play against them, so I’m hoping to be able to catch some of their games this weekend at ECE.

This coming week leading to ECE is a busy one, with practice tonight and tomorrow night and a butt-crack-of-dawn flight on Wednesday to Miami for two days with my mom. I think the mini-vacation will be good for my state of mind – that, and not being on Facebook while I’m there. I look forward to running on the beach (or in the spa on a treadmill because I’m not sure how to get sand out of my good running shoes and I don’t want to ruin them). I also look forward to good food and relaxation. Ahhh, it feels good to be back on track with my life. Maybe I’ll even bring my laptop so I can write while I’m there.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Hamley Cup

More from me later, I promise. For now, please click here to vote for retired CCRG skater, Betty Beatdown's The Hamley Cup entry.

After derby, Beatdown has gotten really into hockey, and as many of us know, there's actually a lot of crossover between derby and hockey as far as strategy and blocking go. Anyhow, she entered a contest to replicate The Stanley Cup out of anything but foil. If you know Beatdown, you know her love of ham and bacon exceeds the desires of most "normal" people, so it's only fitting that she made a Stanley Cup out of ham and bacon. It's gorss, yes, but dear god is it amazing.

So, help this rollergirl win a prize for manipulating meat! GO HERE!

PS: 8 years ago Beatdown drank from the replica Stanley Cup. She was living in Toronto at the time, and the winning team just so happened to come celebrate in that bar, straight from the game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moon Pies!

I completely forgot about Moon Pies until we played against Carolina and they included a generous amount of the delicious southern treat in our dressing-room gift basket. They may have been a bit too strange for the rest of my teammates, but I screamed for joy when I saw them. MOON PIES!

When I was 8 years old my dad got a new job, and our family made the move from Georgia to Mississippi. I can’t say we moved around “quite often”, but we also weren’t strangers to moving – having moved from Arizona to Georgia on the same pretenses just over 3 years earlier. This move to Mississippi was different in that we hadn’t found a house to live in prior to arriving in Mississippi with all of our stuff. My dad’s company put us up in an “apartment complex” (and I use that term loosely) for the first 3 or 4 months we lived there.

The apartment complex I speak of was a motel – not an apartment complex. Nonetheless, it was home, and this first home in Mississippi is one of which I have both vivid memories of some things and complete lack of recollection of others. I remember getting a pogo ball when we lived there. It was a black ball with a red foot-board, and I thought it was ugly, but I had desperately wanted a pogo ball and I bothered my parents for it nonstop, so I used it, albeit not nearly as much as I would have used it had it been pink or purple. Day-to-day things, I can’t really remember. I think we had a microwave in one of our rooms, and I know I must have bathed there, but for the life of me I cannot remember what the bathroom looked like or how we ate dinner!

Nonetheless, there is one day-to-day occurrence that I do remember: studying after school and getting Moon Pies from the motel vending machine afterwards. It was fall and the motel pool was closed, but there was a swing set on the other side of it. After school, my mom would take me to the swing set and as she pushed me she’d ask me to recite my times tables. Six times one is six; six times two is twelve; six times three is eighteen… Early on I would have to think about the higher multiplications, like eight times nine. My mom taught me to visualize dots in my head, and it worked. I saw black dots against a red background. To this day when I have to think about math calculations in my head, I see the black dots against the red background. I still remember the repetition of the swing and how eventually the times tables, even the big numbers, became automatic – something I no longer had to think about. How did it become automatic? I’m not sure – it just did.

After a half hour or so of studying on the swing set, my mom would lead me through the maze of outside hallways connecting the motel rooms and to the vending machine where she’d give me however much money it cost to purchase one chocolate Moon Pie.

I totally forgot about the existence of Moon Pies until last month. When we left the motel, the placement of the Moon Pie in my daily life was cut to an “every so often” occurrence. When we left Mississippi for Maryland, Moon Pies ceased to exist at all.

I’ve been having problems lately executing a certain type of block. Worried about staying in my box, foot position, hip position, and shoulder position, I’ve been thinking too much about the block while blocking, and I just can’t get it. Like Yoda, Dolly told me yesterday to “don’t think, just do”. My natural inclination is to over think, because I’m afraid that if I don’t think I’ll wind up doing something in that bad-habit poor form I’ve been speaking so much about lately. It’s hard to know when to let go and when to think.

After practice yesterday I came home to the mini vanilla Moon Pie that I had saved from the Carolina bout sitting on the counter – begging me to eat it. It was then that it hit me: just like how the times tables eventually became automatic, so would this type of block – I just need daily repetition.

The coaches have told us before why we should practice certain things at home, and it’s not that I didn’t believe them. It’s more that I didn’t fully get it. Thanks to the Moon Pie, I got it.

Lessons learned today: agree to see an apartment before you move into it, repetition of a skill makes that skill automatic, and Moon Pies are a gift from the gods – a treat that is both delicious and smart!