I have to say, I really busted my ass this weekend. All told, I spent 8 hours skating my ass off, drilling and drilling, flying, and occasionally falling. As I'm writing this, I'm pretty sure every muscle in my body is ringing with soreness, even really unexpected ones like my shoulders and my neck. Needless to say, I've recently discovered epsom salts. Honestly, I don't know if it's the salts or the warm soak, but they're heaven and probably the only thing keeping me going right now.
At any rate, one of the practice sessions that I went to was the team-sponsored practice. I feel like I sort of got my ass handed to me, but I also know that I hung in there like a champ. I did everything they told me to do, and even if I'm not yet the steadiest or the fastest, I'm willing to fling myself at it like a warrior.
Honestly, the most painful part of practice was at the very end. No, it wasn't some specially-devised torture off-skates drill. They talked about the upcoming tryouts.
I can't even begin to describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about tryouts. They still haven't decided when they are going to be held, but it will probably happen in November (oh lord, hopefully not when I'm out of town for Thanksgiving - it will cost a shitload for me to change my flight) or December. I know that my goal this whole time has been to just learn how to skate and put my heart into it. And I am well aware that this team takes on a very small proportion of the hopefuls each year. But of course, I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't actually want to get on a team. When things are hard, when I'm having to hold a squat for two minutes (torture at this stage), I close my eyes and imagine myself taking that intro lap and seeing my loved ones cheering for me. Thinking of trying so hard and not getting a spot on the Fresh Meat class is painful at best.
So I won't think about it.
Now that I've admitted the soul-dousing fear of not making it on the league to the entire internet, I'm stowing that shit away never to be seen again. My plan is to work my ass off, keep plugging away on the WFTDA skills, and enjoying it. I'm doing this because it's fun. I refuse to lose sight of that. I'm just going to keep on putting in the hours with the knowledge that this will pay off somehow or another. If things are going to work out, they will, and if they don't, it won't be for lack of trying.
As for my short term goals... I am going to try to go to the gym tomorrow. I haven't been since my very stupid injury and I'm hoping that I'm good to go. It still occasionally hurts, especially right now after skating on it so aggressively, but it doesn't hurt in "neutral" like it did before. Elliptical machine, I will PWN your ass!
Today I had my first official practice (sort of a newbie training run by the team). To be honest, I was a little worried. I'm a really new skater, and I'd hate to have my dreams crushed off the bat.
You know what?
It fucking rocked!
Ok, so it kicked my ass a little bit, and I bit it a few times, but it was a really worthwhile experience. I suddenly understood why people play team sports!
That sounds funny, so I'll give it a little context. I am what they refer to as a "motor moron." I'm pretty sure that this is an actual kinesiology term (unofficial, obvs) for people who ... erm... need a little more practice than others to get down the muscle memory. Like, Jazzercize would be my nightmare because there is no way in hell I can learn the motions on a single run-through. Additionally, I have TERRIBLE depth perception. This rules out pretty much anything with a ball or a net. So I was a high school gym dropout. I would hang out with the geeks and the punks, and we'd make up outlandish excuses for our lack of participation. "I have Ebola." "I sat next to him, so I've been exposed to Ebola." The truth is that sports are not that fun when you know that you never have any chance of winning and when you will never get the ball. This, however, I can do!
I'm not any kind of professional at skating (hoo boy!), but I'm sloooowly teachable, and it's something I like practicing. So this is a really new experience in not being the worst person in the room at whatever it is that I'm doing. (Actually, I did ballroom dancing in college, and that was pretty fun and I didn't suck.) This is something that I feel like if I just do the motions over and over again, I can make it work. Granted, a lot of derby skaters nowadays are people who actually were athletes and skaters before, but I think I could move up to nonsuckage with some guidance and practice. Like, I might have actually set an attainable goal for myself.
So, we'll see what happens at the next practice. I'm definitely a long way away from trying out, but I can see it on the distant horizon.