Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Very Derby JanYOUary

     Every year we are bombarded with messages about new year's resolutions. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a commercial advertising some kind of weight loss or diet program, well, I would have a lot of dollars. I've noticed a new slogan this year: JanYOUary. Last month was all about the other people in your life this month is about focusing on yourself. Potentially by joining Jenny Craig or starting to scrapbook. Having no interest in either of those things (and a closet full of unused scrapbooking supplies to prove it), I have decided, though JanYOUary is almost over, to set some derby-related new year's resolutions for myself.

Get less wound up about things
     I recently went to the allergist (yes, I'm the type of nerd that requires special doctor to recommend a good nasal spray) and she complimented me on my low blood pressure. I said "oh, well that's good to know" but what I really wanted to say was "Really? Hmmm. Must be because I've been away from the internet for an hour." 
     Last year, I got really stressed and worked up about some stuff going on in my derby life. I went to practice and basically frowned the entire time because all I could think of was how my email inbox made me want to bang my head against a wall. The truth is, there are going to be some really frustrating moments in derby administration. When you're a derby admin, you often have to interact with people from a distance (i.e. online) or with people with whom your relationship in no way resembles the last scene of Grease.

     To tell the truth, I actually got myself so wound up and stressed last year that I made myself sick. I mean literally - I got a really bad cold from being stressed and not sleeping right. And you know what? Everything was fine! There were some things to be concerned about, but nothing in derby is worth making yourself sick over. 

     I've been working on the "getting less wound up" thing for about a week now, and I can honestly say: I'm failing miserably! Sometimes it's hard not to get, um, passionate about stuff going on in your community. And for that I have found a new solution: censorship! Email inbox making you punchy? Reorganize it so you don't see the emails that make you worry about your blood pressure levels. Someone posting stuff online that makes you want to quit derby forever? Block them from everything! 
Thanks, Gmail. I know you've always got my back.
     I haven't yet learned to stop stressing about things, so for now I am going to just hide the things that stress me out, and ask someone else who is less inclined to get worked up deal with them.
I actually have a cold at the time of writing this post, and I can't help but wonder if getting stressed about derby is part of the cause. (Though, to be fair, the fact that it's been -20 C here lately might have something to do with it.) Clearly, there's a lot more work to be done.

Stop Allowing Derby Training to Suffer Because of Administrative Duties
     Last year I had a very painful discussion with one of my friends regarding the topic of "having it all." No, I'm not talking about having a family and a career (I haven't reached that point yet, and don't have ANY answers on that one.) I'm talking about being a good derby player, being a great derby admin, and still getting to watch the occasional game. Oh, and having a full time job. And a boyfriend. And an insane love of Netflix. Whoa. Anyway, I had come to the conclusion that I had to let one thing go - and I was going to let being a good derby player go. I remember getting very choked up about this decision but now, looking back on it... it is CAH-RAZY! What's the point of loving a sport and building a league if you don't even get to enjoy what you've built? This year? No. No more! So far I'm working harder at practice and staying the whole time and (GASP!) even listening our Coach better. I know that there will be times when I just need to stay home from practice due to being burnt out (from being an admin, or one or a combination of the things I've mentioned above). But for now, I'm going to keep working hard at practice and putting aside my administrative duties while at practice and getting my game face on!

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive

    One of the ways that I'm committed to making 2014 a better year for myself in derby is to focus on the things that I really enjoy about being involved. Those things are:

  • Playing derby - specifically jamming, which is one of the most amazing feelings in the world
  • Mentoring new skaters - both on and off the track. Seeing rookie skaters succeed and achieve their goals is incredibly satisfying and reminds me of how far I've come and what it felt like to be new to derby (before I got super jaded and cynical like I am now)
  • Building a league that provides a space for all different kinds of women to play derby and be a part of a sport
     Aside from blatant censorship, I think that keeping my eye on the prize, so to speak, will not only help me get through the challenges that come with being involved with derby in a variety of ways, but also will remind me of why I got involved with this nutty sport in the first place! 

Access New Resources
    I admit it. I don't have all the answers. I have 90% of the answers (kidding) but I don't have them all. The good news is, someone else probably does. I've recently discovered the wealth of online communities simply dedicated to sharing resources, information and just chatting about derby stuff. And - shocker - there's also good information available from outside roller derby. Turns out there's a whole section of books devoted to sports administration at the local library! This is the year I renew my library card and start taking 'em out. It's one of my strongest beliefs that by copying what other sports have done right, roller derby can achieve the same success.

Post More to This Blog!!
     I've been TERRIBLE about keeping it up. I wanted to post once a week when I initially started this blog, but that quickly turned out to be impossible. But once every 6 months is not good either. Anyway, watch this space because I'm intending to post more. 
      I'll also be checking the email associated with this blog more, so hit me up at with any questions or comments. And to the person who emailed me in November - I'm so sorry! I only discovered your email yesterday and when I tried to reply but my reply bounced.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot love this post more. You've hit the nail on the head with so many things here. Derby love from Kate Push, Manchester Roller Derby.