The second fresh meat practice dinged my ego and returned me past GO and straight back to grade school (JAIL).
It's not something that like, normal slender girls ever experienced. The dripping of sweat, the weariness in your bones, and the sinking feeling that yes, you will be picked last for the team because nobody wants your fat ass to slow them down because you're clumsy and slow to pick up on moves.
I grew beyond that because I made the volleyball team in high school. I was somewhat successful at golf and horseback riding as an adult. I didn't pick them up quickly, but the learning curve was much less steep than roller derby. Then too, as an adult, I approach almost every new endeavor with this expectation of perfection. We fear failure and have performance anxiety. Remember when I had my accordion recital? Linda explained that theory to me then, and it's something that I try to keep in mind with every new endeavor.
So tonight I hoped I'd shine, but instead I sweated. I wobbled. I was so slow at drills that I was the last one going. Everyone was waiting on me. All twenty-something of them stood and watched my poor turtle ass shuffle sideways from one baseline to the next. They rested and as soon as I reached the baseline the coach barked for us to go again.
Several times I really wanted to quit. Somehow I convinced myself not to with one of those internal dialogs. Because that's what I did as a child. I gave up. Nobody encouraged me. Nobody cared whether I played or quit. Earlier today I asked Ian if he thought I could make the team. He said yes. It's good that he believes in me.
Roller derby practice reminds me of hiking and camping. In theory it's a great thing. I'm outside in the fresh air, with the greenery surrounding me, the wind blowing through my hair. But the reality sucks. While I slog through the mud my mind chants how much I hate this and why am I doing this and I'll never do it again. They say the same thing about childbirth, but my water broke. I had no contractions, felt no pain, and was wheeled in for my c-section. I was ready to have another an hour after Elsa was born.
I grew up and healed the emotional wounds I sustained as a child from being the last one picked for kick ball or dodge ball or whatever game we were forced to play together during recess or physical education. I've always had a major mind body split. I focus more on my mental side because that comes naturally. What I experienced as a child didn't matter anymore.
Until tonight. And it's like ripping a scab off. Except the scab healed decades ago. Bad metaphor. I'm tired. I can't think of a better substitute.
I hate being back in that emotional place where I'm the sweaty girl who drips all over everything. Where I'm the fat girl who can't keep up. Who trips and falls and skins her knee. Who fakes a faint spell and drags herself into the locker room to get out of running laps in phys ed.
Crikey, I've even forgotten to bring my inhaler along to practice. What am I thinking?
Anyway. I'm bone tired. I can barely stand up, stand straight because my muscles are atremble. My back hurts. My head/hair is soppy wet. not a pretty picture.
I hope this is all the complaining I'll do. I know what I have to do: Get down to my basement and practice those drills so that they're second nature. Keep my center of gravity low. Make my core and hips the central receiving and shipping center, so to speak. Practice ploughs. I want to skate too fast and have issues with stopping.
The list goes on.
Now I know why the kneesocks: You wear them so you don't get rink rash on your shins. One of the derby athletes took one look at my knee pads and told me they were crap. I wore a skort, because I hate shorts.
Fat girls have hateful relationships with shorts. They ride up and gather in the crotch like ants marching toward the potato salad. And the shorts underneath my skort rode up. Ugh. And so all the sweating that I did made my inner thighs stick together (is this TMI?) and so by the time that we got at actually skating around and doing crossovers, I couldn't do them because my sweaty inner thighs stuck together and prevented me from executing the move perfectly. Plus, I was freaking bone weary from all the practice drills and was wobbly from exhaustion.
Remember, this post is called "that fat girl vents." I'm almost done. So I figure that I played an important role tonight. I was the girl that everybody else looked at and thought, "I'm so glad I'm not her. I'm so glad I'm not last." Maybe that's worth something.
So that's one positive. Learning the knee drops was fun. Also, I did okay at walking and running on my tip toes in my skates. I did okay at skating in formation, except for wanting to go too fast. I was more flexible than a lot of the others when we were cooling down. Oh, and my favorite derby player on our local team talked to me and gave me tips on how to improve. Can you saw derby crush?
So the other difference between now and then is that I have a bit of heart. Not a lot, but just enough to get me through. It seems like there are a a lot of women who haven't made the team who keep coming out for fresh meat. And they're all heart. And great role models.