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Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Margie Ram

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Margie’s Mantra of Today: Do it! Finish it!

What is it about derby that causes me to think and feel so deeply? To dig deep down to the innermost part of my soul and pull something out of nothing? How can a full contact sport with lots of scary injuries dominated by women be like therapy?

When I first joined the Rockettes Rec League, I was seeing a therapist to help me deal with my long term PTSD, which apparently is a side effect of the abuse I endured as a child. I had just faced near death after the birth of my twins and it was a very difficult time for me. A professional was necessary. I knew I had to change the level of sadness I felt every day in order to be a better mom to now three boys and so I looked back to a time when I was truly happy and thought of a way to get there again. I wanted to stay off medication and so I explored other ways of dealing with things.

Exercise certainly is something that helps me naturally and more positively direct the negative energy . My mind when playing and practicing derby or even skating in the park, hell even just watching derby, only thinks derby so the eyelid films stop. Eyelid films are the visions I see reliving unpleasant events usually, but not always, when my eyes are closed. Derby makes them stop. That’s pretty awesome. I have to face them in clinical therapy and while it is sometimes necessary, that kind of sucks.

In April of 2011, I skated my 25 laps for the first time in 7 minutes and 43 seconds. It was embarrassing. I thought I was going to need an ambulance or at least an oxygen tank but my new league mates wouldn’t let me quit and I finished. For me, there are two key things to derby. First, is to just get off my ass and go skating and the second is to finish. Do it and finish it – the drill, the practice, the laps, the bout, whatever. This mantra would work when hitting too. Do it! Finish it!

I have also tried out and been rejected twice now for our B Team on Wasatch. I am proud to be a Home Team Bouter with WRD because a year ago I was getting fatter and more unhappy by the second. There’s this drive or ambition in me that tells me to strive for something more so trying to get on our B Team seems like a reasonable goal for this year. I’m super competitive despite my limitations which I am always trying to overcome. Plus I want to be able to take more classes at Rollercon next year like Demanda Riot’s blocking class so that means I have to get better as her class is restricted to Level 3s and 4s and I’m a solid 2.

Anyway, our lovely B Team Captain, gives me personalized feedback and goals to work on. She sends these via email. When it is put in writing that I am quick to be outpaced or slow to recover and oh so much more, it smarts a little, but really I know most of these things already. I also already know I am great at lateral movement, partnering and hitting when they are targeted and connect. I just need to be reminded and seeing it there in writing is really beneficial. I would actually encourage any skater who wants to get better to be evaluated in writing. It gives me something to focus on between the do it and finish it.

I now skate my 25 laps at a pretty consistent 4:40. Before I tore my PCL in December, I had gotten it down to just 4:24. While I would like to see this lower number again (and I will dammit!), I’m pretty okay with where I have come from – death’s door and my couch. No longer am I the slowest person on my league as there are new rookies to take this spot. Derby, like the rest of my life challenges, is part of my own personal journey and no one but me can dictate how long it will take me to get faster or hit harder or put the tools in place to flatten someone like the amazing Colonel Skirts or to finally make the B Team. In the mean time, I’m just going to do it and finish it.

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