There is so much I want to write about. So much to catch up on from the last few weeks of silence: completing the purchase of my first home (!!), navigating the first five weeks of intense New Girl training, a knee injury I was sure would be my downfall, and finally, surviving the first round of cuts in derby.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude, so incredibly thankful for the things that have happened in my life (Also, a bit stressed). I have worked, planned, saved, stretched, skated and sacrificed, all in the pursuit of two very different dreams. And when they BOTH became possibilities literally on the SAME DAY, I knew I was living under a blessed (rhymes with stressed) star.
As I’m not being too subtle about it, let’s just address the stress and have done with it. Since I have tried hard to maintain a chronicle of the different stages of both dreams, I don’t expect it is much of a surprise to hear that these past five or six weeks weren’t all rosebuds and rainbows. I don’t really want to relive the stress in detail, because then the journey becomes more negative than positive, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge its existence. I’m still trying to recover from the very real physical consequences of that much cortisol flooding my system for so long, and I’m trying hard to reestablish my workout and eating routines. I do not like chaos, and that seems to describe most aptly the last few weeks. I am a creature of order and routine: I have always been a person adverse to change.
BUT. I have been amazed, astounded really, at how a little hard work in your life can yield such fruitful results. I don’t know how or why I lived my whole life in such a state of laziness, because this whole “accomplishing things” kick I’m on is pretty damn awesome. While positivity can sometimes be impossible (especially in the face of a title company or a bench of evaluators), making sure I always did what I needed to do was the key to surviving and mastering these challenges.
Because that’s what dreams are: challenges. They aren’t easy or for the faint of heart. There were so many hurdles, every day, that needed to be faced head on. Making the best eating choices. Choosing Pilates over thrifting. Getting together the W-2s and tax returns from the last 3 years. Facilitating a monetary gift. Making your dreams come true is something you have to do EVERY DAY. It wasn’t the one moment I signed my name (or rather, the eighty times I signed my name), and it wasn’t Monday night’s evaluation. It was every time I laced up my skates or did a squat pyramid. It was saying “no” to shopping sprees and “yes” to more money in the savings account. Our daily choices are what get us there. One step on a very long road is still progress.
This last weekend was very very full and while I felt overwhelmed at times, there was still a layer of gratitude blanketing it. Sure, packing up and moving is no one’s idea of fun, but I had so many people there to help me, people who love me and were only excited and proud of me. It didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would to get out of that tiny space, and the house I thought was smaller than I remembered turned out to be enormous compared to my tiny, apartment-sized furniture.
Leaving the apartment was a surreal moment. As everything finally went out the door, I turned around and felt like surely two whole years couldn’t have passed since I first walked into that place. I was not sad to leave it behind (who could be, moving to this fantastic house?) but I had lived a very good life in that apartment. My time there was sweet and full of nothing but good memories; memories I will carry with me for a long, long time. So saying goodbye was bittersweet.
Finally buying a house that satisfies so much of my wish list is only half the magic that is my life these days. Of course, what has dominated my blog since October? I don’t think i need to tell you how much derby has come to mean to me. It represents a side of myself I didn’t know was there: a bookworm who could become an athlete. I have worked hard and learned discipline and accomplished things
More than a few people have said “I remember when you saw the first bout, and now look at you!”. It makes me smile and I get a little mooshy inside when I think about how excited and inspired I was, seeing these amazing women. Now, I get to skate alongside them (practice only, really). And while I am not yet a league member, I am so much further than I ever thought I could be in such a short time.
We had our first round of cuts this past week, and I wasn’t really nervous about them until I was on my way to the warehouse. I think most of that was due to the fact that I had just spent the entire weekend moving, and my heart and mind were playing in my new house still. But once there, the nerves came back quick and fast. The first portion was identical to the tryout, and I didn’t do NEARLY as well as i would have wanted to.
i injured my knee two weeks ago, and don’t ask me how it happened–I woke up one morning and it was inflamed and painful. There was the constant feeling of needing to pop it. My chiropractor confirmed that the kneecap was out of place and was due to an over-developed quad muscle. Yes, my muscles are so hardcore that now they are PULLING MY BONES OUT OF PLACE. Well, let’s not be dramatic about it. (Even though that’s what’s happening). I had kinda slacked off on keeping all my other leg muscles strong as I kept skating, and it cost me quite a few points during my evaluation. I couldn’t do the falls right (or rather, the recoveries) because my knee didn’t want to hold my weight when I needed it to, so I looked like a girl who just fell down a lot. But luckily, I did well enough on the second part to survive the first round of eliminations. I know I didn’t look like a rockstar or anything, but I take comfort in the fact that my eval scores aren’t really indicative of my abilities–just an injured knee.
My friend Theresa and I began our Level 1 classes together last October, and I remember some of our conversations riding home about what we wanted derby to be in our lives, and what kind of timeline we were working with. She was ok with taking a year or so to really learn it, but I was determined to get in at my first tryout. Well, I wanted it badly, and was afraid it would just end up being another disappointment. It is incredible to me that eight months later, this crazy ride is still going and the thing I had hoped for most is the thing that is happening to me.
My tagline, “She turned her can’ts into “cans” and her dreams into plans” has never felt more appropriate in MY LIFE. A month or so ago I mentioned that I was overcome with happiness and satisfaction with myself because I had managed to accomplish something. Today that has never felt more true. Today i am bowed over with gratitude and pride and humbleness and determination and love; love for the life that is unfolding before me. Thank you for coming this far with me. I am so excited for what’s next.