I haven’t come up with a good derby name yet. I’ve got some idea, but I want to be a better skater before I take on a tough new moniker. It seems a bit premature to start having people call me Banksy Skullcrusher (my son Nathan’s suggestion), when, at this time, the skull most in danger from me is my own. Meanwhile, the trainers are calling me Bambi.
And like the wobbly deer of the movie, this skating fawn falls down. A lot. And you know what I am learning? It doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. All those pads really… well… pad! OK, sometimes it hurts a little.
I had a decent practice last night. I mean, decent for me. I didn’t fall while taking laps around the track. They were stilted, clumsy laps, but upright ones. I am learning the derby squat, which helps center my gravity and makes my thighs burn. I am learning how to recover when I lose my balance. The trick? Sit down into the fall.
The one thing I did that I believe helped me the most? I didn’t think so much about falling. I concentrated on keeping my knees bent and my elbows in. I didn’t worry about stumbling over my skates. I trusted the protective pads strapped to every part of my body that bends, if not quite trusting my own legs.
I guess the lesson I learned here is: Prepare for the fall, then put your faith in the padding. Most of the time, the padding helps. When it doesn’t, you end up with some pretty bad-ass, tough girl rink rash.
Battle scars are always cool. They show the world that you survived.
I need to work on crossovers. Those are the key to getting around an oval track with any speed or stability. I will admit, I’m a little afraid of them. So here is my next life lesson I need to tackle: If you are afraid to try something new because you are afraid of looking like a jackass, you are kind of being a jackass. I need to muster the courage to try the crossover. I need to prepare for the fall, then not think about it.
I want to be brave and bravery requires risk. In fact, the only time you can actually be brave is when there is risk. Otherwise, there is no need to be brave at all.