Apr 262010
 

Last week I spent at practice, finding out I made Gothams All-stars, scrimmaging Philly and hanging out with girls from Philly, Rat City, Gotham and even a few London girls. Rollergirls are the best, we play hard and we party hard. We drink beers and we fall into each others arms laughing after beating up on each other on the track. We all know you can only learn from the best… so we get the best drunk and pump them on information… MOHAhahahaha… We also realize that we are involved in a serious sport, and therefore drinking is not the main point of our lives or the fun.

Calling of my last jam with Rat City

Calling of my last jam with Rat City (Photo by Jules Doyle)

I take derby very seriously. I will be at practice four times a week. I will work my ass off. I will listen to what the other girls have to say, I will look at how they skate. I will be humbled and annoyed. I will work really, really hard to make sure that my team can count on me. I also work out off skates, I life weights and do other off skate workouts. I don’t go out and get drunk the week before a bout, but I will be dancing on the bar with my teammates after the game is played and the points are scored. I consider the after parties a workout, and sometimes I even bruise.

I love derby, I love every aspect of it, I mostly love being on the track and learning new drills, but I also love the off track comradarie, I love that I now have friends in almost every major American city and even a few in Europe. I love watching derby, but honestly, it will never be as fun as playing. I am not only a Gotham Roller Derby Girl, but I am also a proud member of Team Vagine and Team Legit, and I try to get as much time on the track as possible, because that’s what really matters, to get to skate…. I love my pick-up teams because it gives me the opportunity to skate with girls that I only get to see once in a while and also experience something different from my everyday life.

Team Legit played the LA Derby Dolls earlier this year

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Going Mental

 Posted by at 12:00 pm  1 Response »
Apr 212010
 

Professor X says: It's all in your mind

In my last post, I talked a little bit about the importance of setting concrete physical goals and using them as benchmarks to evaluate your performance. We’ll be going back to that next week, but right now we’re going to discuss another important goal all derby girls should have: Keeping your focus. Specifically, keeping your focus when life outside of the track turns to shit. It’s easy to stay focused when life is running smoothly, but when things start to get bumpy it can be a completely different story. And sooner or later, real life (or rather, the sucky parts of real life) will start challenging your focus.

This was definitely NOT ME on Saturday. You got it? NOT ME. PS I hope you get eaten by a shark, dude.

Maybe you’re having trouble at work, and you’re spending more time at practice mentally going over your latest encounter with the boss than working on your can opener. Maybe you just found out that a loved one is very ill and you’re having a hard enough time just making it to practice, let alone actually focusing on the drills you are participating in. Maybe the guy that you had the gut wrenching breakup with a mere two or three weeks ago comes to your bout, stands directly next to your bench, and puts the full court press on some random girl with big knockers and indie rock glasses while you tear up on said bench like a 5 year old girl who just discovered that My Little Ponies aren’t real (not that I’m speaking from blisteringly painful and extremely recent experience or anything).

These are all examples of things that can split your attention, demotivate you, and keep you from performing at your highest level. So how do we deal with external mental and emotional duress? How do we push past all of the outside crap and focus on kicking ass and taking names, derby style?

Destroy, my bitches! DESTROY!!!

Purposefully try to check your issues at the door: Acknowledge when you’re being distracted by personal issues and make a conscious decision to set them aside. This isn’t always easy, but it’s always helpful.

Take it one drill at a time: So, now that you’ve decided that you’re not going to let Crappy Circumstance X distract you, try to give your complete focus to every derby task as it comes up. Not thinking about Crappy Circumstance X for two hours might seem like an impossible task, but not thinking about it for a ten minute drill is doable, right? And when you keep focusing on tasks that take up smaller amounts of time, they magically add up to great big chunks of time. It’s kind of awesome.

When in doubt, hit a bitch:We are lucky enough to have a built in outlet for all of our frustrations and inner turmoil. Channel all of that aggression into the physical aspects of our sport. Don’t think, just do. Exhaust yourself if you have to.

Keeping your head in the game: priceless


These are things that help me when life starts getting in the way. What helps you? How often do you find yourself struggling to maintain your focus? Discuss this in the commments or hit me up at blammeration@gmail.com

Photo credits: newsarama. com, Jill Greenberg, Toho Co. Ltd, Ben Loveridge

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