I wasn’t sure whether or not to post this, as circumstances have changed and I’m not really feeling this way (too much) anymore. But, in the interest of preserving the truth of this derby journey, I felt it was important to tell the WHOLE story, not just the nice bits.
That’s how I feel. Defeated by this house-buying business, defeated in personal relationships, and defeated by derby.
We worked on blocking last night, which isn’t anything new to me. We worked on it in L2 classes and I thought I had a good handle on it. But then the NG Coordinators hit us. The first time I got seriously hit I heard and felt a neck vertebrae move into/out of place, which kind of freaked me out but it didn’t hurt so maybe it was helpful? Don’t know. The second time , Nicki hit me and OH GOOD LORD. I couldn’t breathe. She seriously knocked my breath out–I couldn’t understand the level of pain. Holy crap.
It just made me think–why am I doing this? Perhaps I’m not cut out for this. This HURTS. This isn’t FUN. I’m afraid of the pain these girls are going to cause. Do I REALLY want this? Do I REALLY want them to try to hurt me all the time? So doubting myself, in this sport I’ve spent the last six months training for? Yeah, that sucks.
If ever I had any doubt this felt like pledging, our last drill completely eradicated it. We did a plank tunnel that translates to basically a five minute plank. I can barely, barely by the skin of my teeth hold onto a 30-second plank. This was the hardest thing I’d ever done–holding that position. I cried because I hurt so bad and I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t want to be the cause of anyone having to do punishment suicides. I did it, but I broke. Those damn things broke me. I cried as I recovered, completely unable, completely drained. I had nothing left to give.
That’s another heart-breaker: I have been really pushing myself, working hard at this for six months. I work out all the time. Why is this still so hard? And then the trainers were like, “Do squat pyramids every day. Do 20-40 lunges each leg every day. Work on your planks. Do push-ups. Cross-train.” It doesn’t sound quite so bad in the light of day (although still bad), but at the end of a two-hour workout I couldn’t even fathom how much more they were telling me to do. As if, ‘It doesn’t matter. Do more more more more, because what you’re already wearing yourself out doing is still NOT ENOUGH’. It was overwhelming and deflating–I felt like there would be no way I could catch up to where I should be by the time I need to be there.
And then, just when I was getting proud of myself for making it through another endurance drill, I drop and hit my knee. Hit it HARD. And they’re saying, “get up ashley you got this” because normally I do just pop right back up, but this time all I can think is ‘owowowowowowie!’. So I slide down and ice it for a minute and then I think “i’m going to get back out there and show them I won’t be held down by this”. Where I promptly lose control because my knee hurts and I’m on the ground again. (validation: even through my tough knee pads, I still have a pretty significant bruise on my kneecap from this fall. my first) Not my proudest moment–my derby idol was teaching the class and I felt like I wasn’t making the impression I wanted. Not that she even noticed: I get the distinct and unpleasant feeling I am not. standing. out. To any of my trainers. And that is NOT good–I don’t want to be forgettable. Because forgettable gets cut, forgettable doesn’t make the league.
I so badly want to show them I deserve to be there. I wish they could see how I AM giving it all I got–how I AM pushing my lungs and my legs just to make it through the drill, that I’m not intentionally slacking off. I want it so badly I will do anything to get it, I just wish that “anything” wasn’t so damned hard. But I guess that’s the kicker–dreams aren’t easy. They aren’t readily available on your supermarket shelf for convenient purchase. I don’t know why I thought this would be such a breeze. Is it because skating comes so natural? It does. It’s the self-discipline, its the endurance and the breathing through the pain and the pushing through my muscles tiring that doesn’t come so naturally. People keep saying “if it were easy everyone would be doing it” and I guess that’s true, but the fact of the matter is that some people ARE doing it and they’re making it look easy and that is NOT encouraging.
But this is MY journey. No one is going to live it for me. No one is going to do those squats but me and if I don’t work on my lung capacity then I am always going to lag during endurance drills. It’s just that the thought of so much hard work is exhausting if I think about it in the long-term context: four more weeks of round one, then maybe five weeks of round two, and that’s before I ever enter the league. But as long as I take it one day, one workout at a time, it doesn’t seem so impossible. Maybe skating is the same as cycling: it doesn’t get easier, you just go faster.