Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trying Out & Trying to Relax and Have Fun

It’s been a strange few weeks that led up to my definitive decision to try out for the All Stars this morning. I destroyed the inside of my right foot by trying to break in my new skates, my grandmother died, and the day of my grandmother’s funeral I still didn’t know if I’d be able to skate in that night’s bout – I had made attendance (barely), but my foot was still open and raw and in pain. I didn’t have much hope that I’d be able to skate that night, which was yet another blow to my already deflated ego. After all that’s gone on since September, I really needed a notch in the “win” column – not necessarily having to win that night’s bout, but merely being able to skate in it. I had been missing skating so very bad – so very, very bad.

To my surprise, after taping the shit out of my foot and breaking out the old skates (which rub in a DIFFERENT location than my open wound), I lasted the entire game! Not only that, but I played a great game, I had so much fun with my team, and we won by a landslide. It was an amazingly fun night that gave me a bit more confidence heading into tryouts this morning.

I’m not going to lie, the 24-hours prior to this morning’s try out had my head spinning, my thoughts racing, and my stomach in knots. “I’m not ready,” the little voice in my head would say. “I’m up 10lbs from the end of last season. I’ve been using the practices I’ve been able to go to in order to break in my new skates, not improve my skating. I’m slow. I’m out of shape. I’m going to make a fool out of myself. What happens if I don’t make it? I’ll be mortified.” To make matters worse, competition for the roster spots has been more difficult lately – we have a lot of transfers from other leagues, and the transfers are good. We also have some brand new prodigy skaters who blow away the skaters I thought were prodigies last year. And then I realized why I made myself absolutely miserable at times last season. It’s the same reason I was stressed about the tryouts: instead of wanting the best for my league or my team, I was fighting against the current and only wanting what I thought would be the best for ME. And I’m never going to be happy or satisfied if I’m constantly trying to find a way to put an “I” in “team”. So, I figured, I’ll go, I’ll remain calm, and I’ll do my best to show the captains and coaches what I got. It’s up to them to determine if I have the potential to be a valuable contribution to the team. And if I don’t have what the team needs right now, that’s cool. I get it. It will be sad, but I get it, and I know what I’ll need to do try again: work harder. Spend the time I haven’t been able to spend getting my game back (and then some).

How did it go? It went. I’m really not a good judge of my own abilities, and I certainly AM my own worst critic. That said, I was surprised by the endurance I still had, but I felt like I had an “off” scrimmage day. I kept getting my wheels locked up in other people’s wheels, and I kept going down. I got back up, but I’m not usually on the floor that much, and when you’re on the floor, you’re not being effective, so essentially, I didn’t feel all that effective. I did have a really rad flying-leap block when I was jamming (which I never do for TT) that was probably completely illegal, but we didn’t have refs there to call me on my foul, so the action itself was just spectacular. I was coming round turn 1 and had 2 people to beat. The inside blocker was about 8” off the inside line, so I got a running start and jumped the turn boundary, about to land on one skate just inside the line and just ahead of the inside blocker, when as I was coming down I threw a hip and punted the inside blocker who shot off the track via the opposite boundary like bullet. Before I could turn my head to see where she went, I heard the collective “oohh!” from onlookers. I definitely hit her before I had a foot on the floor, and when I came down I landed one foot on the right-side of the inside line, but I managed to put the other down over the line. She was already on the floor when the second foot went down, so if I had not been mid-air when I made contact, it would have been a minor penalty and not a major. Had refs been there, I’m fairly certain I would have been sent straight to the box. But it was still awesome! I digress… I left the rink a happy lady, thinking “Well, if I don’t make it, I’m definitely going to have a garden this year.” Regardless of the outcome, I feel good just to be back on the track working hard and coming home fatigued.

No word yet. I’m hoping it comes soon, but I have to figure that there’s no use worrying about it now. The decision has been made, I’m sure, I just don’t know what it is yet. And you know? I’m not as anxious about finding out as I typically would be. I’ve been saying that this year is “the year of fun” in derby, meaning “I want to be less stressed out about being on the team then I was last season.” So far, I’m making good on accomplishing that goal, which is both amazing to me and a really good sign of things to come. After all, if it’s not fun, why do it? Okay, okay, I know the answer to that, just like you know that even if it wasn’t fun I’d do it anyway. The bonus here, I suppose, is that I AM having fun and I AM more relaxed. Regardless of the outcome, I want to keep doing what it takes to feel both those things more often in all areas of my life.

**UPDATE** You know, I was initially hesitant to say anything about TT try outs on here, because I didn't want to have to do THIS, but I promised you guys I'd be honest with you, so here it is - failures and all. I did NOT make the team. It stings, but I am completely out of shape, and I have only been back on skates for a month. Was partially hoping I'd make it if for nothing more than the added motivation to get my ass back in gear. Although more difficult, I can motivate myself. And spring is coming. Spring ALWAYS helps me with motivation. There it is! Must remember the "have fun" part, especially, this week.

1 comment:

bex said...

Sounds like an awesome hit, illegal or not! I hope you made the all star team, but even if you didn't, it seems like you put forth a good effort! What kind of skates did you get?