So, reality is that I'm scared of a lot of things. I'm not always brave and strong and sometimes I just want to break down and cry because I'm scared. Last night was one of those moments.
I've been working my arse off since October of last year playing roller derby. It has been so much fun and such a challenge...I love every minute of it. I can't get enough of it. When I completed boot camp, I was going to take a night off of practice semi-regularly so I could spend some time with my husband...that hasn't happened. The only nights I've taken off are nights when I have something else to do. I'm addicted to this sport. I've been working so hard to reach the point where I get to play in a real bout in a real arena against a real team in front of real people. I found out yesterday April 2nd will be my b-day (bout day). I am so excited for April 2nd...but last night at our scrimmage practice I was flooded with fear after fear as 7:00 on April 2nd approaches with each minute that ticks off the clock.
I am afraid of falling on my face in front of 3000+ people when doing something simple like skating my introduction laps...I am afraid of letting my team down and being the "weakest link" and causing them to loose a game...I'm afraid of not being good enough...I'm afraid of making major mistakes that land me in the penalty box and a hole in my team's line up...I'm afraid of sitting on the bench more than playing and disappointing the people who came out to support me...I'm afraid of hurting myself majorly in my first bout ever and not being able to play roller derby again. I'm afraid of so many things...but now it's time to get over them.
Who cares if I fall down? I'm going to fall when I'm playing and hitting and getting pushed around...it's GOING to happen...accept it.
If I think I'm going to be the weakest link, then I am. All I can do, and all my team can ask me to do, is go out there and skate my best...take criticism and direction as it comes...and work with my team. I'm the only skater on this roster who has NEVER skated in a bout before. This is going to be a major learning experience for me. I have to get over worrying that I'm going to be the worst member on my team. They would not have asked me to play if they didn't think I was capable and ready to play. There are several girls on the team who aren't getting to play this game that have more experience...but how can I get experience unless my coaches let me play? I'm trying to change my mentality from "ranking" myself against my fellow skaters to absorbing all I can in the next week and at the bout to learn from their strengths.
News flash...everyone lands in the penalty box at one point or another. It's another thing that is GOING to happen. I obviously won't try to end up in the penalty box...I'm going to try to skate clean...but a penalty will happen during the game.
There is a real possibility I will be a bench warmer for this game. I am after all, the ONLY skater who has NEVER skated in a bout before. But...bench warming isn't all bad. From there I can cheer on my teammates...I can watch the jams and see how my team is working...what they are doing well and what they are struggling with and how I can help them when I do go in to play. I have to remember derby, like all other challenges in life, are taken one step at a time. Passing my minimum skills test was baby step one (though that was a BIG baby step)...getting placed on the team roster is baby step two...being on the team roster and having the opportunity to play is baby step three...having a lot of play time in a game is baby step four...getting to be a killer player other players talk about is baby step five...etc. There are so many micro steps in between each baby step...but everything is a series of baby steps. I'm just getting ready to take my next step on April 2. I can't get discouraged by taking baby steps. I'm not the most patient person in the world so this is going to be difficult. But...baby steps...baby steps.
I cannot skate like I am scared of getting hurt. Derby hurts and there is a high risk of injury. BUT...this is why I have been building muscle...learning how to skate and how to fall. These will help me prevent injuries. And...one plus side to being a bench warmer...less time in which to hurt myself =)
While I have so many fears...I have an equal amount of excitement for this coming bout. I feel like all my hard work and time and derby talk will be validated the moment I put on that uniform and gear up for that game. It's going to be so rewarding to skate with my team mates and help them in any way I can skate to a victory. My team is going to bring it on April 2...are you ready? I am!