BLOOD ON THE TRACK: A Fresh Bloods Journey Into Roller Derby - By F.B. Marcy
Chapter 2 – Decision – DERBY
You mean I have to put on a pair of Quad skates and get on a rink in front of 40 girls that I don’t know and actually try to stay in an upright position?
Ok. Sure. I can do this. I can DO this.
This was pretty much my train of thought as I drove to United Skates on the day of my LIRR Tryout. I arrive everywhere annoyingly early, so I sat in my car in the parking lot with all of these things running through my mind.
What if I fall down? Oh my god I will be so embarrassed.
What if I suck? I hate to suck. At anything!
What if I don’t make it?
What if I do?
I nearly drove back out of the parking lot and back to my warm, safe home and the place where I don’t do things. Here was that nagging fear again, buzzing around my head like those pesky little no-see-um flies that swarm every spring.
Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I have a dilemma, I like to find a good song on some random mixed CD, turn it up really loud and sing at the top of my lungs in my car. This actually helps me find focus. So if you ever see me in the lot doing this, don’t think I’m nuts…well, maybe a little nuts, but trust me, this helps.
So I closed my eyes, put the CD in, hit random play, and the first song that came on was “The Wall” by Kansas – an old song from the 70’s that is one of my all time favorites. It’s essentially about being on your path in life and coming to wall and having to make a choice of settling for who you’ve become, or finding who you were MEANT to be. Turn around and go back, or chalk up your hands and climb over the damn thing.
There were a lot more personal reasons for me hitting this wall that I won’t get into on this blog, but suffice to say, I had choices to make.
In my very limited Derby experience, I’ve come to this conclusion – Some people find Derby, and for others Derby finds them. I think I fall into the latter category. Derby came into my life at a time when I think I needed it most.
So I went inside.
I signed all the paper work, got a number written on my arm that will make me forever known as Double Oh-Uno, regardless of WHAT my Derby name winds up being, and suited up.
I skated the best I could, listened to the coaches’ instructions, did some things well, others, not so much. I did fall, I did GET BACK UP. I tried my best.
I listened to J-Bone and Violet KnockOut talk about what it means to be a Derby Girl. The commitment, the life.
I was told that if the coaches decided so, I would be getting an e-mail inviting me back to be a Fresh Blood skater and to make sure that this is really what I wanted before saying yes.
I went home that night feeling high, sore all over, but absolutely stoked.
A week later I got that e-mail inviting me to be a part of the league.
Again, into my car for a nice long drive, music pounding, singing at the top of my lungs like a crazy person.
Then the clarity came. I can do this. I CAN do this.
And even more clearly I knew – I NEED to do this, I need this.
Derby found me.
I chalked up my hands and started climbing.