Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh Meat

I have survived, and LOVED, my first two roller derby practices. I'm not officially on a team: a dozen girls and I are in a category called Fresh Meat. During this probationary period we have to do several months of basic skating drills, pack training, and scrimmage hours before the league determines if we are qualified to join. Only at that point would I get to pick out one of the awesome names you all have been suggesting for me.

In most aspects of my life, historically, I have been lazy. I've relied on talent, instead of putting in the effort to develop a skill - especially if any sort of physical discomfort were involved. If I wasn't instantly good at something, I'd either give up or be content with my level of competence.

With derby, I find I'm actually putting in effort to master specific skills.  I'm throwing myself on a polished concrete floor - repeatedly - to improve my one-knee drops.  My crossovers are getting more fluid.  My baseball slides still suck, but I'm trying.

And I'm truly enjoying it.  I like my fellow Meaties and the girls in the league.  I like feeling like I'm becoming part of a group - that I belong.  I like how strong I feel when I leave practice, knowing I was able to push myself for two hours in a sweltering hot rink.  I dig the sexy image and the grrl-power vibe.

All this is making me start to feel more confident in my daily life.  I walk taller.  I'm less intimidated by strangers.  I have a bit more stamina for Ryan's antics.  When someone annoys me, I want to say, "Shut up, Bitch, I can handle you: I'm a derby girl."

My cousin suggested that I should write about my roller derby adventures in an entirely new blog, but I'm going to keep these stories here, because as much as I tell people The Ryan Files is about Ryan, or PDD, or parenting, it's really about me.  It's about my perceptions of Ryan, my complex feelings about PDD, my experiences in parenting.  I tried out for the league as a means of escaping all things autism-related, but the lessons of raising Ryan follow me into the rink, and the lessons of derby follow me home.

On a final note: if any of you works with a company that would like to sponsor Suburbia Roller Derby, please check out the league's website and learn all about the awesome benefits of supporting a fun, hard-working group of ladies!

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