When I started skating I almost only jammed, I was told at boot camp that I would be a jammer and since I barley knew what a jammer was, I googled it and then went with it. I was a very very sucky blocker, but I jammed, I was one of the fastest skaters on Jet City after a year, and I was also quite determined. So I skated, skated, skated and mostly jammed. And I didn’t particularly love it, but I didn’t hate it, it was what I did, I was a jammer, I scored grand slams and I helped my team. At some point the pressure just got to high, I became that jammer that everyone chanted ‘grand slam, grand slam, grand slam’ for, and I buckled under pressure and I started to feel anxiety every time I slid the star over my helmet.
I got picked up by Rat City, and my jamming time started to diminish at the same rate as my blocking got better and better, I enjoyed killing the other jammer. I realized that I was a very effective blocker, and I did good, I got good feedback on blocking, maybe because people saw me as a jammer that suprised them with blocking skills. I was still expected to go out and jam, and score, score, score when I did, no matter what my pack looked like. I held myself to really high standards, and when i couldn’t live up to them, I avoided jamming even more. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t doing good, I just wasn’t doing as good as I felt I should.
I still enjoyed jamming, but my jammer anxiety was just out of hands, and I felt like I was needed more as a blocker. And about the same time as my second home-season came to an end and I was committed to the travel team fulltime, I was never really jamming. The travel team never practiced me jamming and I never stood up voluntarily to jam, I had turned into a blocker over the course of three months.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do love jamming, I think it is fun, and I have slowly been trying to get back into it. My current team needs me to jam, and I do it, because I have to. But I still stand on the line questioning myself, always being nervous that I will not live up to expectations. Nowadays I am in many times more effective as a blocker, I am a jammer-killer, I have awareness on the floor and can help my more rookie skaters more on the floor than with a star on my head. I can try to make out jammer look great but I have to work on my offensive blocking, I am not a whipper, but then the question is, am I a jammer??
I can score, I can pass, I do get lead jammer at times, I still hesitate to jam, and only I am the person that can remove the mental block I have for jamming… and I am working on it… but it is hard when you line up against Bonnie Thunders or Suzy Hotrod with Beyonslay or Donna Matrix in the pack, just waiting to kill, kill, kill you…
Isn’t derby just great so say!?
And I have already started my plan on how to get into better jammer shape… please follow and give me happy feed-back!