One of the hardest things about moving to a new city is starting over at the things you love. For me a big challenge has been roller derby. I love this sport. I've gone on and on about that here on my blog, I've raved about how much my teammates have meant to me. I couldn't wait to get started with the league in our new area…. to continue my derby career… but it's been hard, in a few different aspects.
One. It's been really, really challenging to break into the personal side of the team. They have all been very polite to me, don't get me wrong. Not one single person has been mean or rude in any way… but they all have their friendships and groups that they chat with and I have had a hard time figuring out how to build relationships and get to know these people. I walk into practice each night and hear the girls connecting around me, having fun, and I just smile politely and head to the track. It's taking a lot of time to get to know them because it's such a big league.. and I feel VERY isolated on this new team, extremely alone. So that's tough.
Two. The physicality of it. It's a VERY different pace than my last league. This is a great thing, it's far more challenging and physically demanding. I learn new skills and drills every time I strap on skates now, which is refreshing. I love this part of my new team. They are good, really good… and that will make me better. The talent blows me away. It's taking me awhile to get up to speed and get used to all of the differences, even just fundamental ones like different floor surfaces, etc.
I've also decided to take the leap and try out for the All Star Travel Team… which really, in my mind, I have no business trying out for… but I'm doing it anyway because I've never really been one to dip my toe into the shallow end of the pool to test the temperature. I'm more of a jump in and see what happens kinda gal. This tryout is my cannonball (and I might drown, just sayin'.) There are 6 total sessions which takes a month to complete. Not gonna lie, there have been countless times when I thought about quitting in the middle of a tryout. I picture myself skating over to the bench, taking off my skates, and explaining that I'm not quite ready for this yet. But I don't. I stick it out. I make it through tryout after tryout, completing things I wasn't even aware I could do.
Sometimes I walk out of there disappointed. I wish I had more time to prepare, to learn the drills so that I wouldn't be doing things for the first time under the scrutiny of an important tryout. Then I try to remind myself (but mostly Hottie just reminds me, because I'm whining about how much I suck.) that this was just a jump in and see kind of thing… that I will get specific feedback at the end of it… that I am building a bond with these teammates just by showing up and finishing… and that even if I don't make the travel team this year I can still be VERY proud of myself for trying…. and maybe I'll make some friends in the process.
So that's it. A little derby on the brain for you.