A month ago were assessments to advance from the fresh meat program to being eligible to be drafted to a team. Exhausted, sore, and unready, I pushed myself to a point that, 20 minutes into assessments, I hurt my leg and had to sit out. Biting my tongue from lashing out at myself, I sat quietly to the side with my leg turning pink in the ice bath. I knew I wasn’t ready to pass yet, but to fail so miserably was absolutely heartbreaking.
I took a week off to heal and then I got sick. A cough that lasted through days and nights kept me out of derby practice for a month.
I was back one week and then, my bearings fell apart. Tiny balls rolled around the middle of our track. Luckily, I wasn’t out skating or I could have hurt someone.
That was last Sunday. Between then and this Sunday, my mother went in and out of the hospital twice and my grandmother has been pronounced as officially on the transition stage to death.
This past Sunday, I changed out my bearings, and went back on the track.
The constant fresh meat question is, “Will this ever get better?” “Will this ever get easier?” I don’t think that anything in life gets better or easier. As we grow older and more experienced, we should seek out tougher challenges that better our lives. Because, as we get older and more experienced, we become stronger. Our hits become harder, our stances get lower, and we become more ready to take on the world.
I will not be able to make the next two practices and then we have assessments again. I don’t think I will pass, but I will do my absolute best. Because I love this. And the hardships in my life just make me want it more.
Note: Since writing this post, my grandmother passed and I have received the most amazing support from the derby community. Thank you all!