When I close my eyes I can picture the glamour of derby: working as one unit with your team mates and pulling off a great move to stop the opposition, the satisfaction when you hit your opposition in that sweet spot and send them flying, finally being able to do a certain skill that you've struggled with for ages etc Moments that make all the setbacks and failures along the road worthwhile and make you appreciate that moment of derby happiness just that little bit more. Moments that most rational people would say isn't worth the pain and tears, all the strapping you need to do to your knees and ankles just to get out on the track and get through a training session relatively pain free. That's the power of derby, for me anyway and it's what helped me get through the week.
After the training high from the previous week where I discovered I could do things that I previously told myself I couldn't do reality set in as the pain in my right knee returned in full force. I got to training last Friday all strapped up but right away both my ankle and knee were protesting. All the stretching in the world wasn't helping either. The first training drill for the night was weaving through a pace line in pairs and I was partnered up with Cheya. She was holding onto my shorts during the drill so whenever I got too far away from her I was in danger of her pulling my shorts down so that kept me as close to her as possible hehe. The longer the drill went on the more pain I got in my knee and ankle. It got to the point where it felt as though my leg was going to give way so I conceded defeat and got Cherry to take my spot. Try as I might I couldn't get the pain to go down enough to get back and skate so the tears of frustration kicked in. By this stage I didn't care if anyone saw me cry. I'm such a tough derby girl eh? More like cry baby.
Although the good old thought of 'Fuck this I quit' flashes across my mind when I find myself on the end of another setback, deep down I know I won't quit. I keep going back to a quote from my favourite movie 'Million Dollar Baby' although it's boxing related you could use it for derby 'If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond
endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas.
It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but
you.' For all the setbacks I've had, I've had some equally great moments and achievements. I just want that chance to bout with my team mates on a regular basis and an even bigger chance to bout with my team mates against Newcastle.
Unless a doctor tells me on medical advice to quit derby, I'll keep my derby dream alive. I don't want to hang up my skates unless I know I've done everything possible to try and fulfil my derby goals. I've accepted the fact that I'll be going through more setbacks before I progress to the point I'd love to be at. I've stopped counting how much groups of freshies have caught up and overtaken me. I realise I'm probably going to go down in the Guinness records as taking the longest time to get to bouting level and that's just to bout, not to be some sort of superstar.
So fuck you latest setback, you may have brought me to tears temporarily but I'll be back on my skates again trying to create some more moments of derby happiness.