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Published on August 13th, 2012 | by Miller Lightnin'

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DerbyLife Writing Contest: “Barf” by Miller Lightnin’

If vomit grosses you out, stop reading.

So…I have what I will self prescribe as a “nervous belly”. I barf when I am excited, hung over, and most notably-nervous. Barfed when I got accepted to Guilford, before several first dates, before I even get to Carowinds. I have barfed from eating too much, after I saw Jennifer Connolly on the streets of Brooklyn (HUGE Labyrinth fan), and I puke before OBGYN visits (the lighting makes me nervous). When I performed in Vagina Monologues this year, not only did I barf – I had to take three shots of whiskey to even get on the stage. I have also thrown up protein bars and Gatorade at every single half time in every single bout I have ever played in.

I went to the doctor for a physical and told her my woes. After she kind of giggled, she very non judgmentally said, “Ms. Williams, this may be from your excessive drinking and horrendous diet. Lets work on that.” I told her I would cut back on the brown liquor and limit my fast food to once a week…everyone has their vices! Stop judging.*

Anyways, basically my doc told me that some people have more sensitive stomachs than others and that not only did I need to take better care of myself I needed to learn some techniques to calm myself down. Find your chi. I told her I play derby, that hitting people was my chi. She did not respond verbally, instead she eye rolled while taking what is sure to be humiliating notes about my health. I like her.

So, after some thinkin’ I decided enough was enough. Barf is gross, and can’t be good for me cosmetically. Being a diva, the thought of rotting teeth became my motivation instead of any other internal damage my upchuck response may be causing.

My 2012 goal: NO BARFING.

A few weeks ago my home team, Elm St. Nightmares, had their first home bout. We were coming off a 0/4 season, two of our players were on injured leave, one of our best blockers just retired, and we were up against our league’s champions. Did I mention this was also my first bout as a captain?! All of these factors were leading up to super nasty barf time. But I am nothing if I ain’t determined.

I take my role as captain very seriously, almost to an extreme degree. I see each one of my players (including my awesome co-captain Emma Ture) as an individual athlete that deserves my undying devotion and respect. I want my skaters to succeed, regardless of what the scoreboard may say. I watch my players at practice, making mental notes of what they are working on. When I run, I devise plans in my head that utilize each woman’s strength, never concerning myself in what could be viewed as their “weakness”. My obsession with being the best skater I can be is only surpassed by my obsession with being a good, decent captain who skaters look up to for advice and leadership.

So I really can’t be wasting my skaters time barfing in the bathroom.

Before my first bout as a captain I had a come to Thunders moment (in the derby world, what I just said is not considered sacrilegious). Miller: the only person who can make you stop barfing is you.

So I had to put my ego, desire to win, and personal goals aside and convinced myself that my actions had to be those of leaders (of the Disney movie variety). I needed to be respectful of the refs**, listen to my coaches, formulate plans with my line up. To keep myself calm, I needed to focus on one jam only, to let calls go, to pat my teammates on the back. I needed to work with my co-captain, listen to her, respect her actions. All of this eventually paid off, because I never once barfed during the bout. My players (hopefully) never knew that it took a huge effort on my part to not appear nervous and to stay in control, but I guess they do now because I have a huge mouth.

Did I mention we also won our first bout?

No barfing + first win = SUCCESS.

I will probably vomit every time I get to Carowinds and before each school presentation. But I am okay with that. As long as my teammates can count on me, that is what really matters. Cause nobody wants to skate beside someone who smells like regurgitated Biscuitville.

In love and derby,

Miller Lightnin’

*I have literally no standards for food or television, but I will not support a business I know is against equal rights. That being said-I do NOT eat at Chick-fil-a because they are homophobic jerks…other than that, all bets are off. BRING IT ON MRS. WINNERS!

**Full disclosure: I blew the “no yelling at refs” mission once. But only once my friends. As hot headed as I am, I say that alone is worth a trophy!

This is an entry in Derbylife’s first-ever Writing Contest!

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