It’s 10:42 p.m., Thursday night, and I just got home from one of the best practices we’ve had in some time. I had a little smile on my face the whole ride home, driving the car I’ve borrowed from my RSRD teammate, Violet Reaction (thanks, Violet!) through the humid, murky Baton Rouge night. I played Tear for Fears’s “Shout” as loud as possible with the windows down and the hot, dark wind blowing in, and only blushed a little when I realized my stoplight partner also had his windows down and was privy to my ecstatic ‘80s nerd-out.
Best of all, the song ended the moment I parked for the night. Perfection.
And this ballad-worthy endorphin rush accurately reflects the tone of the practice I was driving home from – for two hours, I think every one of us had a good time. We laughed. We yelled more encouragement than criticism. We skated at our personal top speed when asked. We communicated more when asked. We communicated more, period. Our pivots were loud, our #4’s swept the back, our jammers juked and charged like mad. People called formations and worked in them. Sure, not everything was perfect – a lot of those packs were sloppy – but we identified things that weren’t going so great and worked on them. I think our leaders for the night – Turbo Tyke, Unholy Horror, and Sigga Please – had a lot to do with this. They each have a supportive, encouraging style, and people don’t seem to mind listening to them. But in addition to that, there was some sort of derby-magical thing happening. I’m tempted to say it was the one-minute jams that kept everyone in a good mood, but I think we were just on, and then, as a group, we recognized that we were on, and everything got, well, fun.
Remember fun? We’re rollerskating two or three times a week with like 30 of our best friends. Wouldn’t you have just died if someone had told you, when you were about 8 or so, that you would get to do this when you grew up?
I’m grateful tonight, and not so wordy.