The day finally came. It’s the day I have been counting down to for the last three months. What’s odd, is now that it’s here, I find myself mildly terrified and a whole lot excited.
I am no longer fresh meat.
Why terrified? The newbie excuses won’t work anymore. It’s that feeling that I have to know everything and do everything. The reality, however, is I will forever be learning.
The other reason I’m terrified, the 25 in 5. It’s the only thing holding me back from full fledged, roster eligible, dame glory. I’ve attempted it twice, the first time missing by a mere 10 feet and the second-well, my legs gave out. (The event has since sparked a gym membership involving biking and running to build my endurance and overall physical fitness.)
So, what does being a rookie mean? Sure, I get to pick a cool name-which I have done. (OK so, I have been thinking of this name since the second practice when someone asked me if I had any ideas.) I get practice shirts which can now state who my alter ego is and depending on my next attempt at the 25, I’ll get to order my jersey. As important as these things may sound-they are really just superficial. None of it makes you a derby woman.
I have learned that derby is about more than donning some leggings and skates. It goes well beyond the rink. It’s about supporting your team and getting others to do the same. It’s going to events. It’s passing out posters and save the dates. It’s suggesting fundraisers and being there to do the fund raising. It’s about being a part of something greater than you as an individual.
The best rookie is one that’s well rounded. You may still wobble your way through a scrimmage and skate away from the pack unknowingly. You’ll get pushed and pulled until you feel where you need to be. You’ll put on that team shirt and head to the fair to promote your team when it’s a zillion degrees outside. You’ll post something on facebook every day and just wear the world down until they finally cave. And yes, you’ll ponder piercings and new tattoos. You’ll go shopping and everything will turn into derby clothes.
To be a great rookie, one must listen to criticism. It’s all about patience and persistence.
And one day, it will all pay off. I look forward to the day I pee every five minutes-even if it’s just air. I look forward to a bout day poop count. I can’t wait to hip check a girl to the ground and take a hard hit by a behemoth of a woman. It will quickly occur to you that derby is everything and absolutely nothing that you expected it to be-and you’ll LOVE it!